It's Thanksgiving and so naturally I am reflecting on all the things I'm thankful for. There are many things I am grateful for which are probably to boring to share, so I won't. Instead, I will write about how travel makes you thankful. Whether it's an adventure trip or solo travel or a wellness vacation...it is not news that travel changes you. And I do believe a lot of that comes down to gratitude. The following are just some examples of how travel gives you so much to be thankful for.
Travel makes you realize what you have.
It really does. It seems to shine an intense spotlight on all that I have. Like the convenience of running water. Like not having to worry about my next meal and living in a country with a social safety net. When in Jamaica I saw people literally starving to death on the streets. Like the rights and freedoms I have as a woman living in Canada. When in Jordan I saw almost no women on the streets and non unaccompanied. It seriously, no joke, put things into perspective. I for sure don't love everything about living where I do (can we say winter!), however I know I am blessed to be a white, female, Canadian citizen.
Travel makes you appreciative of people
This can happen in so many different ways. For example, the family bonding that has happened for me whether it was my mother and I travelling SE Asia or my entire family spending precious time at nearby Clear Lake, MB, so many special memories have been created. Or the new friendships one can cultivate. Like the great friend I made randomly on a short bus ride in Hiroshima, resulting in us meeting up twice more in Japan and in regular contact to this day. Or the knowledge and passion one's guide may have for his or her country. Like mine in Salvador, Brazil who also quickly became a friend. Or simply for the kindness of a stranger who points one in the right direction.
Travel makes you realize what matters most.
My travels have made me realize what truly matters to me; my happiness. My trips, whether to visit friends in Calgary or to another continent, have helped me clarify my priorities. Something happens when you strip down to the most basic of belongings and are living out of a suitcase. You realize it is experiences, and not possessions that enrich your life. Feeling the expansiveness, joy, and aliveness that travel gifts me, allowed me to realize that I can be that happy. And I deserve to feel this every day, not just when I travel. And for that learning I am oh so grateful.
Travel makes you thankful for your lessons.
It is pretty much guaranteed that things are not always going to go smoothly for you when you are travelling. And sometimes things really go to shit. And when you are travelling solo, it is like the universe is holding up a mirror to your face and you have no choice but to see what is reflected back to you. If one chooses to be receptive and tune into one's intuition and higher power there is so much learning within reach. And thus I have learned first and foremost how to surrender. Following this...patience, faith, positivity, clarity, fearlessness, hope and learned to open my heart more and more. How could I not be grateful for these gifts?!
Travel makes you grateful that you can travel.
The opportunity to see and experience so many different places in the world is not one afforded to everyone. In fact not to many. Just getting away from my mundane everyday life is one thing. I can almost literally feel the strain and stress drain away. Then there is being able to see incredible natural wonders, or famous works of art, visit world Heritage Sites, explore and be a part of different cultures, religions and lifestyles...these have all made me more than I was before.
Travel has had an incredible impact on my life and I am so much happier now because of it. My showing gratitude is not something I do once a year, but a daily practice. With that being said...a big thank you and so much love to all my people...whether you are a family member, friend, client, future client, follower, or just randomly stumbled across this blog post. So grateful to make this journey with such incredible people.
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