One of the things I learnt over the years was to distrust my own motives for coming to a conclusion. It is probably the best advice I have ever had, it speaks to me about my ingrained ideologies, my perceptions of people and places. I have been very fortunate to travel to some of the most beautiful and remote places on earth, I have been to Iceland, Russia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Georgia and Vietnam, just to name a few.
In fact over the years I have been to around 90+ countries and it is a passion that is hard to shake. I have learnt so much from so many people and one of the things I love most to do, is to just get out of the cities.
If I go to Bangkok, I get the hell out of there and get on a bike, hire a car and get to a remote village, most of the time I get the amazing opportunity to meet villagers, in most cases, one of the younger generation can speak some english and therefore communication is not so bad (it can be) and with that a great meal, a place to sleep and sometimes I even get to wash.
The reason for this post is simple, no matter where I go, who I meet and what I do, there is never a care for either of our ideologies, not my religion or lack thereof, not my political persuasion – it is always all about my interest in their lives and vice versa. What is the one thing I take away? For villagers, in most countries it is family and happiness. I need to stress here that when a village is self sustainable, that is, they can grow their own food and trade amongst themselves, have decent (not by our standards) housing and access to free education for their kids, I find happiness in abundance. There are no monthly stresses to pay electricity, gas, telephony, cable TV, fuel etc, it is all about the family and food.
Children treat schooling as a privilege and are so amazingly eager to learn, but once school is out they are outside playing basketball, volleyball, soccer and anything else you can think of, it can only make you smile.
So this gets me to my point, there is misery and hunger amongst the poorest in just about every developing nation’s cities, but there is a life you cannot imagine unless you witness it outside of the cities. So all I can say is create a passion to be an adventurer, not a tourist, no matter what your age, try to get out of the cities and go remote and you will discover a world you only wish was more abundant in your own lives.