isabelle thye

Travelling teaches me to live life and love life

There is no word to describe how important travelling is in my life, or how it has transformed me, shaped my perspective and influenced life decisions. I met people who left beautiful traces in my life, some changed my life for the better.

Have you ever wondered – what was in your mind before you start a journey? How did you mentally and physically prepare for an unknown adventure? What were you seeking for?

When my whole life was contained in a backpack, when I only had space for bare minimum of life, that was when I learned to appreciate the richness life has to offer.

1. Living with minimal need is a life skill
Without much possessions, every little thing in life carried big weight. During Annapurma Basecamp trek in Nepal, life was simple and beautiful when I woke up every day with the sole purpose of reaching the top. I remembered looking forward to every break to have a small bite of chocolate. On the mountain, something as simple as a bowl of piping hot noodle brought me tremendous joy.

Knowing how little I need to feel contented, I became more confident to take risk in carving my path.

2. Embrace diversities

When I met a British Nigerian and a German Phillipino in Vietnam, even though we had different skin colour and cultural background, we spent 2 days together traveling, exchanging stories about where we come from, why we travel, and our plans after the journey.

When the world map in my heart expanded, I found that people are not much different on the inside. We were all on the same journey, sharing the same quest to explore the best of life.

3. Learn to trust
Traveling was a humbling experience to learn how to empathize, understand, and keep my ego in check at times when I needed help the most. I was often touched by goodness in people when they offered kindness without any expectation in return.

Maybe I was lucky, or maybe people were generally kind in nature, things always turned out fine even though I was told that I trusted people too easily. It was the bits and pieces of kindness I received that reminded me of the beauty of lives.

4. You have full mastery of your life
In all my backpacking journey, I did not have a rigid itinerary. I loved being able to wake up and walk out without expectation of the day, fully embracing new people, places and experience. I got to reinvent my identity when I met new people, dared myself to try new thing, trusted my guts to decide the next move.

It was an amazing experience to be consciously observing how things unfold with series of choices along the way.

When I returned, I brought that sense of control back with me, knowing that I am the master of my life.

5. Self-empowerment

Every time I came back from a solo journey, I felt like a returning soldier knowing that I had power to handle life.

I learned something new about myself every time I told stories and shared experiences. These experiences were like wine that tastes better as it ages.

A part of me prided myself for having courage to travel alone, but the journey mattered because of the lives I touched and the world I saw.

6. Embrace endless possibilities in life
The more I travelled, the more I experienced, the more I felt, I realised that there were many ways of life, and I knew how easy it was to start a new life. The problems that troubled me before the journey started often became smaller as my world expanded.

I began to see things differently and make life decisions with new perspective. I knew how big the world is and how small my problems are.

What if I lost my job tomorrow? What if I didn’t get what I want? There is still a big world out there full of possibilities.

I come alive when I wander
I found myself most alive when I was travelling. I travelled when I felt lost, when I didn’t know what I want to do in life.

When I hit the road, every day was a new day; everything gave me a sense of wonderment. I sat in ancient temples reminiscing lives passing through it. I watched magnificent sunset on sand dune and realised how small human being appeared under the sun. I felt love flowing through me when I gazed into blue sky in a paddy field.

In those moments, there were no past or future, there was only now.

Life would just slip if I was not aware that every moment is life. It is finite, it is now.

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