There’s no doubt about it.. you tone up and shed some pounds regardless of whether you want to or not. When climbing steep hills to get to your hostel/hotel or throwing a 15kg backpack on your back quite regularly – not to forget – the 80% average humidity days, that, or you find yourself so busy (partying/exploring/sleeping) that you are bound to miss a meal or few here and there – it’s inevitable for your metabolism to readjust to it’s new routine and use extra fat as fuel. For me, eating 3 meals a day just doesn’t make sense when I am not using that many calories in just hammocking about or lazing at a hotel so I only eat when actually feel hungry. When surfing and hiking, then yes, stocking up on the carbs and big meals makes sense. Most of the time, for us girls, losing a bit of weight is a welcomed bonus either way!
Whilst it’s nice to maintain your self-centred world wherever you go, you will soon realise that nobody appreciates somebody loud, shouting for attention or speaking down at others, especially locals. You will no doubt learn that all those things you were obsessed about previously e.g.: your clothes/hands staying clean or how great or efficient your home country is with time-keeping.. are all irrelevant in the grande scheme of traveling. Every country is different and if you want to implement your standard of living in a foreign country then you are in for a bumpy ride. You have to learn to let go of your ideas of how it should be, when it’s not up to you to decide how it will be, especially in a place you’ve never been. Sure pimp yourself up to the ideas if it brings you joy but equally maintain values that are true to nature and respectful to others around you. If your nature is of an egocentric kind then the only advice I can give is to travel longer.. or:
‘Don’t try too hard and you won’t be disappointed at not fitting in.’
By this I mean anything – from bus connections, boat connections, flight connections to internet connections, job connections and face-to-face connections. You are bound to miss some sort of connection along the way and it happens to the best of us no matter how organised; on time or well-planned we thought we were. I also feel, it happens for the best reasons! Sometimes, losing such connections leave us better off. Sometimes, missing that date or waiting around for the internet connection to work again – creates something better for us. The Universe has wonderful ways of working it’s magic and one of those things not to get upset about losing, is that connection however great or important it seemed at the time – because somehow, out there, you have just gotten connected to something else without realising it. If you don’t understand, you’ll see someday!
Making a plan and sticking to it can become really hard the longer you travel. I look back on my travels to Australia; Indonesia; Malaysia and SE Asia. I only really got into the swing of it all after my first year abroad BUT I had promised a good friend I would attend her wedding after 18months of traveling. By then, I was in awe of what was still out there and upset I had to return for a weekend event that wouldn’t shape my future as much as my travel opportunities could. I had to cut short everything and rush to squeeze in a few last places. Regardless, I went to the wedding and it was the best I have ever been too (also probably the drunkest I’ve ever been but that’s another story!) but my point is, your plans will change as you become more focused on what you really want to see and where you really want to be the longer you travel.
Keeping your word on a date/job/commitment/relationship before you’ve even set off traveling is a very very dangerous thing. You have know idea what is waiting out there for you. Most of the time, it’s the next best time of your life! Nothing worse than having to disappoint others because you are having too much fun, or met somebody else or not planning to return as planned. Don’t put yourself in that position to begin with.
Sticking to a plan on doing something with somebody could also change and once you are out there trying to enjoy that something.. it might not go according to the plan, you might not enjoy their company and then you are left disappointed. If it does go according to plan, let it just flow without planning too much of the next step..
People change. We all change. Plans change but losing a plan for your own positive benefit is creditworthy and brave.
Lastly, we lose fear of the fears that restricted us previously from moving forward in life.
I learnt about 5 years ago that Fear stands for:
It really is a man-made thing, just like terrorism, created to instil fear in people. Like when bombs go off in cities, people are not fearful to go back there and carry on working, rebuilding etc. because they have lost the fear from these cowardly actions. Sure, shit can go down anywhere right now and people will fear for their safety, family etc. that is normal but to live in fear before anything happens is not normal and shouldn’t be a shared way of thinking. We should encourage more fearless actions and praise the courageous.
When you travel for quite a while, you start to take more risks, more chances and trust more in the process. The fears you had before slowly start to wean themselves off of the way you think and attach themselves to other causes. You start to fear less and worry less about the things out of your control and your thinking patterns change to be less stressed on the unnecessary. Trust me, there will be a lot less in your control the longer you travel if you allow it to benefit you and in saying so, it is the best feeling there is to just let go and go with your instincts, for they should be in control more than the mind ever actually allows.. 😉