We've been asked by friends and strangers alike whether this trip was a life changing experience. It has definitely changed our perspectives in many ways, small and large, and helped us better appreciate what we have. So we thought we would share a few of the reflections and lessons we would like to keep with us.
See the world through the eyes of a three-year-old.
A three-year-old lives in a completely different world, where everything is mysterious and exciting no matter what it is, even the mundane surroundings that we seldom notice going about our daily lives. Traveling, exploring new places and meeting new people helped us remember how to see the world in the same way – wide-eyed, curious and with a fresh perspective. From the start of our travels, we felt alive and engaged everyday, more than we had in some time. It should be this way all the time, even when walking the same path to work everyday, because life is too short and too precious to spend any time sleeping through it.
Life is short, and uncertain. Whatever it is you want to do in your life, whether it’s moving to a foreign country or starting a new business or taking a painting class, don’t wait. For us, it was traveling together early in our marriage. It’s opened new possibilities about what we’d like to do next and how we’d like to spend our time. Most importantly, you never know what could happen tomorrow so don't waste today!
Life is simple if you let it be.
We saw a work of art based on this cartoon at a Beijing gallery and thought it was a great reminder that we often overthink life, but it can be simple if we let it be.
Travel is an investment in yourself.
We received a lot of great advice and input from people we met on our travels but one comment that stuck with us came from an elderly man we met in Sydney on our Harbour Bridge Climb. He told us that taking this time to travel is the best investment we could make in ourselves. So sometimes when we feel stressed about the money we've spent or figuring out the next career move, it helps us remember that the time we have spent together, people we have built relationships with, cultures we have gotten glimpses into, and places we have seen are priceless experiences we will remember forever.