Feet to move, places to roam
Since September, I have had the pleasure of working alongside 26 little kindergarten students during my third year practicum placement. Entering the classroom time and time again is something I look forward to with each new school year. As this is suppose to be an educational experience to benefit the knowledge I will need to one day become a teacher, I have started to wonder, although I am suppose to be teaching these children, I am really the one who has been fortunate enough to be educated by a group of five year old’s. Although this may seem bizarre that at 21, children who are significantly younger than me have expanded my knowledge on life, it is true. No they did not teach me the alphabet or how to read stories, however they have taught me over the course of 3 months what it is like to accept the fact that you cannot excel at everything in life, to be honest and accept when you have done something wrong, and how to laugh at just about anything and everything (Just kidding, I think I had already mastered that one). Children are the most intelligent people on the planet if you ask me and we definitely underestimate them more than you would think. When you come home from school and your parents ask “What did you learn today?” You would be surprised at how much you accomplished without even thinking about it. My mind is opening up with new facts, new stories and new ideas on the daily, if it may be from my friends, seniors, children, my parents or through experiences, such as travel, I am always learning.
As I still continue to keep in touch with friends around the globe regularly, if it’s through Facebook inboxes, Instagram photos, or a quick “I miss you” message here and there, I have learned more from friends that I knew sometimes for a few hours, who I met on planes, trains and buses, than from friends I have had for 19 years. I read a quote recently that stated “You learn more about people from what they say “No” to as oppose to what they say “Yes” too”. As I read that, paused to absorb the context of it, and correlate it directly with my life, I realized how true it really was.
While I was living out my dream in Santorini, Greece, I met two other Canadian girls at my hostel and the three of us spent the day adventuring and relaxing on Kamari beach, one of the most beautiful black sand beaches I have ever laid eyes on, it is absolutely breath-taking.
As I took a walk alone along the water, as it shimmered with the reflection of the sun, I spotted various cliffs that people were boldly jumping off of and thought I had to try it. As they screamed with excitement as they plummeted into the salty waters, I walked back to the girls and suggested they should attempt the jump with me. The girls faces lit up as they peeled their bodies up from the sunbeds and responded “Yeah sure, why not?” Without even the slightest bit of hesitation, it was refreshing how they did not even have to think twice about committing to coming along with me. Without even viewing the cliff yet, they were all in. I did not have to persuade the girls or drag them off their butts to come with me, they just did. People who travel are immersing themselves into the world to seek excitement, to educate themselves on other countries and cultures, they think “When will I ever be back in this exact moment again, with these same people, doing this exact same activity?” I could have just jumped off the cliff right then and there when I first came across it, however, I would rather share the experience with someone else, and remember those memories as something new I tried, with someone new I just met. It was the perfect last day in Santorini filled with plenty of sun, cliff jumping, endless Gyros, golden tans and other tourists going crazy about us three girls once they witnessed us taking a picture with our Canadian flag.
I am so incredibly thankful for all the people I have met in the last few years since they not only provided me with memories that consume 80% of my daily thoughts, they took the time to tell me about themselves and each person has taught me a little more about the world and myself. You can learn a lot from someone who travels, and here is why their perspective on life is different from someone who doesn’t or hasn’t yet:
They can turn nothing into something: No travelers are not magicians but they might as well be. Those who are out traveling for the long haul know what they want, how they want it and how they will make it happen and how to get there and everywhere. Although there are plenty of people who are fortunate enough to have travel as a career and therefore get paid to globe trot, there is still a majority of the worlds population that are saving pennies like they are going out of style in order to contribute to their wanderlust addiction. “10€ a night for a bed? Too much!” “20£ for a meal? I would rather starve!” “Maybe I can go another few weeks without doing laundry” are all the commonly used phrases I have heard or even used whilst out exploring which leaves with me how those who travel can turn nothing into something. I have encountered backpackers who would prefer to sleep in train stations or sidewalks if it means they are saving money on accommodation in order to participate in other activities while in certain countries. Learn, research and explore your options on the things you want to do, and prioritize where and what you want to spend your money on, that will save you big bucks in order to tack on an extra week or even months of travel.
They don’t care what other people think: And why should they? Why should anyone from an outside perspective, who does not even know you, concern you? Being miles away from home on what sometimes can feel like another planet, gives you the opportunity to be whoever you want to be, because hey, no one knows you. You can wear whatever you want, say how you feel and do whatever you please because no one is around to judge and if they are, you will most likely never see that individual again. What was so refreshing about traveling alone this past summer is knowing that whatever I do, no one back home has to know about it unless I choose to share it with them. Living in Winnipeg, where everyone is all up in everyone’s business, it is refreshing going somewhere where no one knows anything about me. Not only should you not care about what people think about you while traveling, you should take that confidence back home and realize if it makes you happy do it. If you like that shirt that you think everyone else will hate, wear it anyway because you like it, and always remember to express how you feel about something, chances are, someone else will agree and you will gain a new friend from it. Mutual hate/love on the same topic makes for an ever lasting friendship.
It is okay to not always have a plan: Think about the best day that has occurred in your life so far. Was it planned in advance, down to the very last detail? I highly doubt it. I believe it is almost impossible to make a precise plan and have it pan out exactly as you imagined it to be. I have met multiple people who have dropped their perfect, cookie cutter lifestyle for something they have found that they are more passionate about than the current life they are living, or pursing the flawless future they had in mind. In order to find out what you truly love, you have to be brave enough to become spontaneous with your choices and be able to go off the beaten path every once and awhile, if that means hitchhiking across Canada, or bailing on your flights to the next country to join the people you just met on their next escapade, or even simply just skipping class one day because you know you can find something better to do than sit in a three hour lecture. I am not trying to persuade you into quitting your job and book the next flight out of your city, or drop out of school but I am telling you that it is okay to not have a plan for everything or an answer for every question that comes your way. No one is suppose to know what happens in the future and that’s what makes life interesting.
“I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” – Caskie Stinnett
This is just the beginning of a list that I could continue to add onto for quite some time to come. These are lessons I have learned myself, but I could not have gained without the help from others. I have read countless other travel blogs, listened to hundreds of stories people have willingly shared with me from their life, from fellow students I go to school with and from reading feedback from readers! If you have a valuable life lesson you live by or a story you will like to share, I would love to hear it all, comment below!
“And then I realized, adventures are the best way to learn”