The Impact of Traveling
The best perspective we have of the impact of travel is to look to when we started to travel .We had a completely different purpose in mind from the one we have today.
In the past, it was mainly pleasuring with a little spice of education. Before it was fast, today it’s slow. Today, things have changed so much for us that we don’t even recognize ourselves from that time.
It all started with an unfulfilled lifestyle, I did have a nice career to pursue and was doing the right steps: good income, house, and prospects. But for some reason, which I still don’t know how to explain, something was missing, it’s as if I knew I had a better mission but I had plenty of time to get there so I wasn’t worried. I was living my life partly blindfolded but felt it was just temporary.
After studying in Sweden for almost two years and then returning home, I was sure that staying in Portugal would not be enough to find that thing that was missing, so after some years struggling for fulfillment, traveling the world became the priority. And so I went.
After years of craziness, culture exposure and reality checks, I suddenly found what I was looking for all along: not the how, but the what. My life purpose would be fulfilled by helping other entrepreneurs to achieve success with their positive impact companies. How to get there I’m still working on, but I know I will.
It’s all starting with this website, and to be able to do it we have to learn. And how we decided to do that? By traveling to the capital of the world of digital nomads where we could learn with all these people already doing the same, so we moved to Chiang Mai. Our education journey is endless, but we try to give it a real focus.
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.
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Your new upgraded travel skills
Losing the last bus of the day, finding the only toilet available and realizing there’s no toilet paper, being refused to open a bank account or any legal document, not being able to withdraw any money, and so on. How many situations will you face that can have some consequences to your life and comfort until you start to develop the wonderful skill of savvy adaptation? Not many, trust me, you will not withstand many paperless toilets until you start to remember to be prepared next time you are on the move. It happens, you adjust, learn and move on, as simple as that.
Sense of Humour
Very much connected with the last point, you start to relativize everything, a sense of Mai Pen Rai (the most famous Thai expression that means never mind) you apply to anything that happens that would before make you go mad. Your sense of humor skyrockets when on the road for many months. You laugh when a boat owner keeps your money and leaves you stranded, you smile when you realize you messed up the traveling dates and you make jokes about the day the police stopped you for their due bribe. Life is too short, right? Don’t be too serious because there’s no time for that.
Do you see all pictures we post online? 1% of the time, and always happy. The other 99%? The dark side of travel, unhappiness mixed with anxiety and disbelief. Some problems with anyone back home, some new crazy problems from being on the road, and all the time to solve it. Then the 1% comes and your life is perfect again. Like the Ice Man’s Ice Bath technique, it thickens your skin, it will make you stronger and resilient. And yes, resiliency is number one skill for success. (just read the book Grit)
It is like you learn how to meditate instantaneously, whenever you need to do it. Your thick skin, together with a strong sense of humor will lead you to the art of being eternally patient. You quickly learn things always take more time than are supposed to, or so you expect. Plans do not go according to the plan, and that’s just all right. You will wait for the right moment for things to happen, you will realize time is always on your side, and that deadlines are not good for your health. Just relax, and enjoy the view while you wait.
6th sense for opportunities
Everyone knows that opportunities don’t fall down from the sky, you have actually to be out and search for them to show up. When traveling, this couldn’t be truer and demanding at the same time. As quickly as an eye-drop on a sign or a fast chat with someone in the toilet cue and an infinite number of changes can happen. Why so demanding on the road? Because the window of opportunity is short, people are also on the move and so do the opportunities. That group that is doing exactly what you wanted to do but had no support, or that house with the lake view you would never find by yourself. You will learn how to sniff these opportunities like a dog finds food, and you will grab it faster than snake bites, it’s yours.
This is one of the arguments against the myth that traveling is bad for the environment. If you look at the direct carbon footprint in itself it may be right, it would be much better to stay on your couch without leaving your house. However your world references will completely change when you travel, you will meet people from all over the world with many different problems from back home. You will soon realize the impact of your actions in Western society when you travel to the developing world. You will see so many different solutions to problems you are aware that your mind will explode. You will probably want to save the world by the fifth month on the road. Your new self and world awareness will hugely compensate any carbon impact you may have above your daily commute.