Sunday, August 5, 2012

Traveling Taught Me

My cousin Camilla is ameezing. She's such an important person to me, so much so that I made her my maid of honour last year. I couldn't help but ask her to do a guest post here. See more of what she's got going on on her exceedingly well-written, exceedingly exceptional blog. She has taught me so much. She kindly shares what traveling has taught her.

Traveling Taught Me

When I was 18, I was lucky enough to travel to Paris to be an Au Pair.  Holy Panda's toenails, I had no idea what was about to hit me. I had travelled twice overseas with my family when I was little, but this was different. My senses were old enough to take it all in. And be completely overwhelmed. I was in love. With Parisian boys, Parisian bicycles, Parisian dogs, pavements, window displays, food, sky, the sounds the car's hooters made, the rainbow of greys the buildings were, the way the pigeons looked like they were always judging, the way the ladies wearing fur collars always were.  

It was a place so far removed from my own. Until then I had no idea that the same things could look so completely different in other places.  My world opened up like a flower towards the sun.  

Over the years, I have travelled to a few different countries. Although there is still a million places that I would still like to see, I have learnt some things (mostly the hard way) along the way. Traveling itself has been a great teacher. And friend. 

I read once that you should always pick travel and experience over possessions. Years after coming back from somewhere, I remember the experience way more than anything that I have bought or owned. To look back on a life of stories, instead of stuff, is a very special thing.

Claim your touristy-ness! Be Inquisitive. Ask questions. Look around. Find out how things work.  Get lost. Sometimes its going to happen anyway. But some of the best moments come when you have missed your stop, or misread the map or misunderstood directions. All the best adventures wait in the jungle of unfamiliarity and unplanned-ness!

Travel light. Travel light. Travel light.

Be adaptable. Respect and acknowledge that the environment that you are in is different from what you are used to. There is so much to see if you fearlessly accept the newness.  

And l lastly, if you are an 18 year old Au Pair in Paris and accidently smoosh chewing gum from under your shoe into Cartier's thick, forest green shagpile carpet.  Just smile. A lot.  

Small Bags, Big Hearts, Happy Adventures.

1 comment:

Movan said...

Makes me want to pack a bag [ a small one!] and go!

Great travel gems - thanks! :-)