A wise young man told me before I left to remember that this trip is an education, not a vacation. A very insightful piece of wisdom, it’s something I have to remind myself every day, especially when I lose sight of the reason I decided to take this trip. I didn’t decide to take this trip to get a break from my unsatisfactory life. I decided to take this trip to change my life into something I like. In order to bring about that change, I must embrace this trip as both a worldly and a personal education.
This is a trip of highs and lows – every day brings with it fun experiences, but also minor annoyances and sometimes even extreme aggravations. When things aren’t fun, I sometimes forget that this trip was meant to be an education, not a vacation. Instead of focusing on what I’m learning from a particular situation, I focus on the fact that I’m not having fun at that exact moment. I get overwhelmed by the obstacles to overcome and problems to solve in order to get from place to place, see certain things, or even eat or find a place to stay. I get frustrated that I can’t communicate easily with people I need information from. I get angry when I get overcharged for something due to my tourist naivety. I get annoyed that every hostel I go to seems impossible to find. I overlook the fact that these things are all part of the education – learning about the world and learning about myself.
I must remember that every part of this trip – the fun parts and the not-so-fun parts – contributes to this education. If I remember that all of these things are an important part of the education, I may actually have fun overcoming the obstacles and solving the problems to get through each day. At the very least, it will be incredibly rewarding when I attain the change I am seeking.