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Travel

Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller – learning to enjoy life

learn to enjoy life

Happy travels fellow Hustlers

I was talking with a group of friends and travel plans came up. Everyone chimed in on where they were going or wanted to go, things they planned to do etc etc. And it never occurred to me that some people don’t understand the joys of travelling. Or maybe, I have very different ideas of what a good travel trip entailed. Travelling doesn’t have to be across the globe or at some exotic destination. It could be in your very own neighbourhood.

And that’s why I want to talk about the magic of being a traveller and not just a tourist with you guys.

Some people live for that one trip overseas a year. They work hard all year for that one week abroad to relax and escape life back home. It’s actually very depressing when you think about it. To live a life you dislike so much you have to escape it.

BUT what if I can show you how to find the joys of travelling everyday and not just when you’re a tourist in a foreign land? The past half year saw me relearn the joys of travelling myself since I was spending quality time with the family in Hong Kong. It made me look at my average day in a whole different way. And you know what. I love it. I have no idea why it took me so long to gain this attitude towards life or why no one else in my life decided to show me. (I’m thinking most people don’t have it either) But thankfully, my baby nephew did and he taught me a lot about how to be a traveller.

Have you ever seen the look of wonder and curiosity on a child’s face before? It’s pretty darn endearing. Now, take a second to think how often you see adults have that same exact face.

Not so often, if at all.

learn to enjoy life
such wisdom at a tender age

It’s because the older we get the harder it is for us to find novelty in everyday life. We get arrogant about what we know and close ourselves off to new knowledge, perspectives and experiences. We get stuck into routines because it’s convenient and comfortable, but it also kills our creativity and curiosity. This reluctance to open yourself up to anything new is what makes you want to escape it. It’s also why going somewhere exotic makes people feel alive again. It’s new!

But you can be a traveller anywhere you go. It’s all about approaching a place with new eyes and making an effort to find novelty everywhere you go. It’s not that hard once you get a hang of it and it makes life super fun and enjoyable. Running errands won’t feel like a chore, date nights with your SO won’t seem predictable, your commute to work won’t feel like time slowing down to a halt. It’s just amazing. It feels like you have a whole new lease on life.

So, here are my quick tips to becoming a traveller and not just a tourist.

 

Be open minded to new things

Don’t be in such a rush to say no to things you haven’t tried before. Don’t make it into a habit to stick with your usual choices and try to make an effort to try something new. Try foods you’ve never tried before, no matter how weird. Or, try that new restaurant in town you’ve talked about, but never get around actually going.

There’s constantly new opportunities to try new things for the very first time. In your neighbourhood or across the world. They’re everywhere and you just need to say yes to them. How many times have you told yourself you’ll go next time, or you’ll do it next time because the thing is so close by to you. It’s so close by, you don’t make it a priority.learn to enjoy life

Stop being so goal oriented

How many of you like to have some sort of plan when you’re on holiday? You go online, you have a few things you want to try. You might even book a few tickets online before arriving etc etc. Then you get to your destination and you’re just ticking each thing off like it’s a grocery list.

…Yeah…you don’t want that.

Or let me be more specific. You don’t want to be so goal oriented all the time. You take away the chance for spontaneous happenings when you plan out every single part of your day. And the best things tend to come unplanned.

Example time:

The second time I went to Taiwan, I did a lot more exploring and just walking around different places. And I got to try some awesome food at a nearby night market. Not the world famous Shilin night market, but just a local one where locals go and eat. It was ten times better and more interesting.

I wouldn’t have had the chance if I didn’t give myself the chance to just wander about.

And this works at anytime and everywhere. Giving yourself some time to just wander without a specific goal is the best way to bring something new into your life.

learn to enjoy life
I didn’t remember the name of the night market, but thankfully it’s in this photo “ningxia”

Start learning

We all slow down the speed of learning or we even stop it all together at some point in life. We learn what we need and then we don’t bother with much of anything else. But this is one of the biggest reasons why people fall into old routines and do the same things again and again. Even on holiday!

How many of you know a person who goes to the same place at least once a year, to do pretty much the same thing they did last time they where there.

But if you never stop learning, then you never stop exposing yourself to new things. Just being curious and wanting to learn is a great way to meet new people, go to new places and fill your life with novel and exciting experiences.

Not all of these new encounters are going to be positive, but just having these experiences will enrich your life by tenfolds. You know what they say.

“life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of experiences you have” – by someone more clever than me

Okay, now it’s your turn to put the above into action and find the joy of being a traveller and not a tourist.

Other resources you should also check out:

Good things need to be shared
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