My Final Article. Blissful feelings on the road, what I learned, a few memories, and how travel will always be apart of my life. The blissful thoughts/memories on the road are different thoughts/what I wrote when I was inspired by something that I saw during our travels.
Blissful thoughts on the road
I love being in a foreign place. Not foreign by language, but in the sense that I don’t know my surroundings. Everything is a challenge and a game. You are trying to figure how everyone acts, what is the acceptable things to do, what are the social attitudes of the locals compared to everyone else in the world and so on. It is so fun to be so attentive to all these things. To watch, to learn, to grow.
Leisurely walking as everyone is rushing to work makes us observe at a slower pace of life knowing everything that is going on around us.
There are so many surprises while traveling. While working I knew my plan every day and every weekend. There wasn’t much surprise. The only surprise was watching the stock market tank on some of my investments. Every day traveling brings so many surprises. The amazing food that you thought would taste like snot. The awful food that you thought would be good. The view from around the corner after walking around lost for a few hours. The people you meet who just happen to be the nicest people on this earth. All these things surprise you on a daily basis, and thus we are living in a electric ever changing life.
The ability to see different awe-inspiring scenes in this earth. The earth is compromised of so many eco systems, different looking mountain ranges, and completely different wildlife. To get the chance to see all these things that are so much bigger than I am, is amazing.
Searching for an apartment where we are staying for the night always overcomes a sense of doubt right when we ring the doorbell.
To communicate through language difficulties breaks down barriers. You share with someone a common bond above language which is a special thing. Instead of using social media all day at my office building. I let my mind be consumed by natural settings and not a lit screen. Traveling changes the way we communicate, and I enjoy having a different means of communicating in all ways.
I recently have been wanting to do another long term bike route. It seems the rawness of my ass from the Camino has left my memory.
Life is a mixture of so many things. Drive, relaxing, passion, comfort, helping, creating, hard times, good times. It is not just about one thing. Its about balancing everything with a great big smile. It is a beautiful thing. Make the best out of each instance. I love reflecting these thoughts watching the sun go down with no sounds around me. it is surrean and peaceful.
Traveling is a great thing. It is crazy to be in Zanzibar for a rooftop dinner at night and trekking chimps through the jungle the day before.
Days can be tough, overnight buses, horrible food when all you want is something decent, food poisoning and at the same time using squatty potties, making decisions everyday about what we do and where we eat, and so on make it tough.
I thought to myself today that we are so lucky. Life is such a great thing or gift. I am very thankful to be doing this right now. Seeing these things everyday is amazing. It allows for thankfulness and a great attitude. I would rather have a good attitude towards life and others and have no money than have money and be rushed and not take time to talk to others and smile with them.
I am happy to have lunch and meet others and have different conversations everyday. At work I would meet someone and have the most boring conversations. The vendor would push the worst subjects. Nobody would ever learn because nobody would open up. I love lunch now. I sit on a rock in the pyrenees eating a sandwich, looking at this ever changing beautiful painting.
Your dreams do not control you, but you control your dreams
The peaceful night awaits the explorer
A Few Memories
Just happened to walk into a cathedral in Porto this morning and listened to the most beautiful choir perform. It was a great time to reflect and sit in utter peace. Some of the best times traveling are not planned and shouldn’t be interrupted by trying to capture the moment with a camera.
Running by the ocean in South Africa was amazing this morning. I was thinking of all the places we have run by on our trip. The lake in Rio had great views, and in the morning today it was the same. Running by the ocean might be the best place to run by. I am no runner, but it is awesome. The peacefulness of the morning and the waves crashing into the rocks with views of the clouds coming over the edge of table mountain is quite something to see.
We bought two bottles of wine, went to a nearby park, sat on the concrete, and listened to a great jazz trio for about 3 hours. Just sitting, drinking, and listening. They weren’t playing for anyone, they were playing for themselves.
Waiting for a ride to Spain today from two strangers. Hoping this goes ok for Katies sake. It ended up working great, except they smoked the whole time and didn’t speak english.
Driving back from the beach in Murcia with Fede and Paloma, listening to coldplay true love as the sun sets. Everything is relaxed.
Walked up to wild rhinos on foot today. Saw multiple rhinos, some a bit to jittery for us to walk close too. Found a mother with her 5 month old and got close to them. Was awesome and humbling being so close, hearing them eat grass, and snort, and just watching them. “I don’t want to live in a world where there aren’t any rhinos for me to play with” – Ian
Went on a small sunset hike up to the top of the big hill that we are sleeping into. All I see is desert and plains with a few trees and some more huge rock hills. Nature is all so different.
We are eating enjoying ourself as we hear Christmas carols on a rooftop just far enough away from us to hear the tune. The mosque prayers are going off at the same time. It’s a nice simple non-commercial introduction for Christmas, to which we haven’t seen or heard anything about for all December.
We came down into a valley after seeing the peaks of all the mountains. Both were breathtaking. The valley with the colors and the hugeness of the mountains around and the top of the mountains looking like big sur times two. The sun at 8:30 was a perfect picture hi-lighting the grandness of the scenery.
Yesterday we are exploring San Francisco with our backpacks, today we arrive in Hong Kong in the morning and are eating Dim Sum just like that. One culture one day, another culture the morning after.
The food. I never thought about diversifying my palate. Never thought of that as a reason to travel, but man, different food is awesome, and I have fallen in love with trying new food.
What I learned
– Everything can be routine. On the Camino I started to get worn down even though it was an awesome experience and I love biking. I started to think that even the things you love can start to be routine and I quickly came to the conclusion that our attitudes are the ones that need to be positive and content no matter the circumstance.
– I definitely learned to not look at my computer and phone as much as I did. It was great only having wifi some places and not being completely connected
– Being a “travel blog on social media” has taught us to not pay too much attention to what is going on online. The people the most happy in life are not being consumed with other peoples lives. They are living their own. And the fact that the life we are living was not all roses and was hard, made more of the case that everyone thinking that we were living the dream…was wrong.
– We overcame indecision. Finding food everyday made for quicker decisions.
– Helping others who are lost or are new to a town. Coming into a new town and being lost and possibly not having a place to stay is never a great feeling. So helping others that are in the same situation will be something we look out for in the future.
– Be positive and look at the little things. We simply got this from biking up a big uphill in Rio! Make it to that plant, ok great, make it to that sign, ok great, now make it to the top!
– Be an inspiration to others instead of trying to change them. I learned this throughout me and Katies relationship on the road. I always tried to push her to do certain things. It never really had a positive outcome. Now I lead by pursing my passions, and if others want to follow they can.
– Go for it. Be confident. When we left we weren’t sure about jobs, our new life, and how everything would work out. Now we are SO glad we quit our jobs to travel. Everything seems to work out, and coming back to possible jobs now, I am confident as ever, because of my decision to quit and pursuing our passion.
– Asking others for help. Sometimes we thought we could figure everything out on our own. We found out that being humble and admitting that we don’t know where we are going or doing made for an easier learning experience. After asking others we would figure out things so much quicker and easier.
– Be humble, there are so many others who have done more than us. There is not point in thinking we are better than anyone else for these experiences. There is so much learning on this earth, and so many others who have done so much more than we have.
– Learned how to travel going forward. From all our travels I found out how I want to travel going forward. Long term bikepacking trips put a big smile on my face and is something I found a lot of passion in.
– Learned all the good things about other cultures and learned the things not to do from our own culture. Traveling has made us combine the best in each culture to live going forward.
– Learned to not worry about the future. We were always thinking of the future, where we would live, what we would do. The Camino taught us to live in the present and not worry about getting to a point in a certain time period. Relax the train comes every two minutes.
– Travel websites, magazines, and internet are not great to follow when traveling. If you are looking for discovering a place that is original and peaceful then don’t look online. If its online then its already ruined by companies trying to make money from tourists.
– The places we visited with the least amount of expectation were some of the best. when we had high expectations because we did too much research, we were most likely let down
– After quitting our jobs and traveling, we both realized slowing down is OK! It is a good thing to slow down and take time to do what you want instead of getting caught up with other things in life. There is no one way to live life!
– At first I set out kind of to be a paid famous travel writer. That was the ultimate job right? I realized differently after being on the road for a while. I don’t want to be a travel writer, or travel professional. After doing it “full time” I know travel can loose its appeal and I don’t want that. I want to be excited about travel, and not be burnt out on making an income over it. You dont have to be a famous online travel writer to be a “world traveler”. I knew people who rode their bikes across the US and then from Portugal to Keiv camping the whole time. They are not famous online, but there travels are.
– We found a better balance between work and travel
– It is so important to relate to other people in this world. Once we relate, we start to love. After putting each other in tough situations we know relate to others better. Because of that we have more compassion for others, and have a better chance to act on that compassion going forward.
– We didn’t hit our 1 year timeline, but during our travels we learned its not about hitting a magical number. Travel is personal. Nobodies suggestion of travel and itinerary can be copied. Each and everyones expierence is different, some like strolling cities, some like being by the water more, some like camping more, some like local food more. So don’t try to emulate someone else’s travels, find what you like and do that.
– Realized that Americans can complain a lot. We have it so good, and shouldn’t complain about ONE thing. We live such blessed life’s and we take it for granted. We have to remember as hard as we can what the other side of life is like. If we can’t remember then we have to continue to “suffer” or live in harder situations for gratitude and a change of mindset because it is worth it.
– Also learned to take things one step at a time. Take today and don’t worry about tomorrow. During our travels if we ended up getting worked up about our travel plans falling through we would have gone mad. Some days not knowing where we would sleep that night, pushed us and helped us. Now we don’t worry about the future, and we take it one day at a time.
– It improved our relationship. we faced uncomforted, and challenges more than we thought the whole time during our travels. It pushed each other to overcome these issues together all the time. We didn’t have the luxury of being apart to get over these issues on our own, we were forced to talk everything through, which improved how we handle problems now. It also doesn’t faze us as much when problems come up now. The more we are pushed the more we expand our boundaries.
– I kept asking myself, ok now that I am not working, what should I pursue that I am passionate about. I have time to think about it and pick. As I kept traveling and now that I am back I realize that travel is one of my biggest passions, and the things in life that get me to travel should be prioritized just for that one reason. So a job, friends around, a little routine, a paycheck, solving problems at work, all get me to that goal. I have now realized that is a good thing. So I work for my passion now instead of thinking my passion would be my work.
Anybody that is thinking, that sounds awesome I want that. It is all out there for you to experience and feel, you just have to go.