Today’s guest post is courtesy of writer and entrepreneur, William Bourn. Thanks, William! 🙂
Buddha says: there is only one mistake one can make along the road to truth; not going along the way, and not starting. But let’s make room for one more along this road: not looking at what’s right in front of you.
When people are under pressure or stress, they tend to shut other people out. History class was the worst for me. My teacher would always make us write essays, and I’d do my essay at home, but then suddenly I realized that everything I wrote was all wrong, and I’d get all stressed about it since tomorrow is the deadline, and then I’d start yelling at my brother whenever he tried to pester me. Well, that may be a bit milder than the usual situations, but the point is when we become stressed, we tend to vent it out our frustrations on other people. Actions like this stick with every aspect of their life. They become distrustful of other people. They then treat the present world as a one painful yesterday. It may help them get through the feeling of confusion and pain at the time, but they will realize later on how it affects their life decisions.
You can spot these people from a mile away because of their irrational statements. They say things like, “people can’t be trusted” or “people are idiots”. These are the roots of prejudice.
How can you possibly feel hostility towards somebody who loves his community and reaches out to visitors? The only way to do this is by failing to see the person for who they are and only seeing the shadow of a past enemy instead.
Travelling and communicating with the world are the solutions to these problems. We were raised knowing certain traditions and norms, and when we come across people who go beyond or below the standards, we develop hatred. By traveling, we become exposed to different cultures and people, which broadens our understanding of different kinds of people. It’s the way to cure our prejudices.
There are tons of life lessons we can learn from traveling, and since I’m pretty fond of traveling from one place to another, let me show you some of my favorites:
It’s okay not to plan everything
We’re used to planning things out before we execute them. We need to plan our weekend. We need to plan for our future. We need to plan who to marry. We need to plan which clothes to wear. We need to plan when to go to the dentist.
Planning has already become an important aspect of our life that attempting to do something unplanned seems frightening. But when we travel we realize that no matter how hard we try to plan everything, things won’t always work out the way we want it to.
I once booked a plane ticket to California to attend our family reunion. All my cousins were there. I was really looking forward to talking with them again after we’ve been separated for five years. I booked the ticket three days early. When the big day came, I was so excited to step out of the car and board in the airport, but as I did one of the employees told me that my flight was delayed and will resume the following week. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to come to the reunion. What’s the moral of the story? Things won’t always go the way it’s planned. That doesn’t mean you stop caring about everything that happens to you. It just means, do your best to prepare, but if you left out some details, that’s okay too. Things will just fall in its proper place.
It’s okay to be lost
Everyone who knows me knows how bad I am at taking directions. I’ve been commuting to my new workplace for a couple of months now, but there are still times when I find myself lost in the middle of nowhere. And then I have to ask people where I am just so I can maneuver my way back to the office. When you’re in the city having poor navigation skills is a bad thing. You can’t get to places. Even if you did, it’s going to be a while before you get there. But when you’re a traveler, you know that getting lost is just another new opportunity to explore and learn new things. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself for your lack of direction sense, just embrace it. Take the time to look around and appreciate nature’s beauty.
There are times in our life when we feel lost. We don’t know if we’re on the right track. What do I mean? Well, there are times that we feel like we’ve made wrong decisions, taking us to places we shouldn’t be, but instead of hating ourselves for our mistakes, we should just enjoy the ride and see what happens next. We can’t avoid mistakes, but we can learn from them.
Talk to strangers
Contrary to what our parents taught us, talk to strangers. The truth is, we can be a bit choosy when it comes to people. We only want to talk to people who we think are a lot like us, and ignore the ones who we think are uncool. And oftentimes, this brings us to a situation where we feel like everyone’s up to no good. We’ve all been there a couple of times: our best friend betraying us, boyfriend or girlfriend cheating on us, a workmate working towards ruining us. But it’s only because we don’t look beyond our gates.
We get to meet amazing people when we talk to strangers. There are people who think that they are travelers just because they travel a lot. You’re only a travel lover when you can travel by yourself. Real travelers feel excitement upon having to meet new people.
Don’t stress over things you can’t change
We want things to go our way. To do that, we study until we drop, we work until there’s nothing left of us, we train until we’re in tip-top shape. But sadly, this never did anything but got us frustrated. We just have to accept that there are things that we can’t change.
I used to be so upset when our bus broke down. But ever since traveling became an integral part of my life, accidents become another opportunity to just chill and enjoy the moment.
The world isn’t so scary
Stepping out of our comfort zone has always been scary. Just think about all the wolves and lions that could devour us at any moment right after we step out of our gates. But when you’re a traveler, you’ll realize that all those scary characters we hear about are just simple people being themselves. They’re not really going to swallow us whole. They won’t be hurting one piece of our body. We just have to accept that people are what they are and that we just need to adapt.
William Bourn is one of the pillars of crazy essay, alongside his college peers. He functions as both writer and social media ambassador for their business. He occasionally makes podcasts for students and newbie bloggers to better their writing. William continuously practices corporate social responsibility by donating to various foundations.