A brief description of just some of the lessons we have learned during our time traveling:
1. MAKE GUIDELINES, NOT PLANS – Guidelines give you direction and a goal to work towards, but leaves you with the flexibility to adjust to new learnings, changes in mood, desires or conditions. Plans can feel cumbersome, restrictive and leave you with a sense of obligation. (We primarily book only one-way flights) Keep it simple, with some order….like stacking multiple flavors of ice cream on a cone.
2. BE OPEN – When things don’t go the way you thought or wanted don’t let it get the best of you or ruin where you are or what you are doing. Adjust, keep a positive attitude and maintain perspective, chances are it isn’t the end of the world. Talk to people, especially strangers! You will be amazed at the things you learn and the opportunities that will present themselves through those interactions. Try new things…even if you don’t think you will like them. I would rather regret trying something than NOT trying something. I have always thought this way. The past 13 months have only strengthened my resolve on this point and continue to be a large reason for all the adventures I have undertaken.
3. LIVE IN THE MOMENT – It is shocking how much time we spend thinking or planning for future activities or events, or dwelling on times that have already past. There have been many experiences I could have, and should have enjoyed more or gotten more out of if I had only not been worried about the future or the past. Staying present is one of the toughest things for me to do. But, it is also one of the most important things I need to work on. Each day focus on what you are doing, use your five senses and experience all that you can, while you can.
4. SLOW LIFE DOWN – It is amazing how tough this is, especially if you have a job and a family to maintain. But it can be done. Although traveling as we are makes it easier to unplug from the constant electronic gadgets, we still make conscious decisions to put them away and not let other people, news, social media, etc invade our thoughts or enjoyment of what we are doing. Make time for and focus on things that you enjoy. If you just want to sit on the couch and count how many revolutions the ceiling fan makes, good for you! If you enjoy it, do it. Don’t stay busy, especially with the petty stuff, just to be busy….it is okay to NOT be productive. You would crack up if I shared some of the wild and random things I have spent time contemplating because my mind was free and in the present.
5. NEVER HESITATE TO SPEAK SOMEONE ELSE’S LANGUAGE–even if you are a novice! You never know where that encounter will take you. We went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Sherpa House in Golden, Colorado. As the entire staff is from Nepal we did our best to use our rusty, and limited, Nepalese language skills. And boy did it pay off. Turns out one of the two gentlemen helping us is good friends with our friends in Nepal. And he just happened to be a mountaineering legend! Oh, and another good reminder – don’t judge people by their looks, lack of ability to speak your language or by the job they do……your waiter at dinner may have guided clients to the roof of the world 16 times!!