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Travelling The World, III

Monday, July 25, 2011 0 Comments

bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo :: Philippines :: Travelling The World, III

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21. Stop thinking so much and act
People think their way out of doing everything that’s worth doing in life. The reason I feel I’m getting so much done in the last years is precisely because of how much time I give  to over-analysing whether I should do something important or not: None.
22. Dance and sing whenever possible
Dancing and singing are great releases and forms of expression. It’s hard not to feel good after a session of either!

23. Making new friends is easy and so is appreciating your current ones
My entire eight years travel has been alone. I arrive in a new nation without a single friend waiting for me in many cases. I have no connections, but I make them anyway. I find a party online and go straight to it and say hi to everyone. Soon, if I try enthusiastically enough, I’ll find people I can socialise with on a regular basis.

If you are friendly, genuine and charming, making friends with people from every culture and background is possible.

When people who are surrounded by family, networks, work and school colleagues, other friends, clubs and communities they are a part of… tell me that it’s hard to meet new people I feel like slapping them in the face to wake them up to the opportunities around them, which I haven’t had consistently for almost a decade. Look around you!

24. You don’t know what you’ve got ’till its gone
Don’t take anything for granted. I couldn’t afford to pay for accommodation one night and had to sleep outside on a rock because of it. Ever since then I appreciate having a bed, couch or hammock, no matter how small or where it may be, because I know what it’s like to not have one. One night was enough to burn it into me - I sigh a breath of relief every time I go to bed now.

I went partially deaf due to an ear infection for two weeks and appreciate my hearing and all the beautiful sounds around me all the more because I got it back. I also gained an appreciation for signed communication that I’d take advantage of several years later.

I’ve never lost anyone close to me, but I hug my family members and tell them I love them every chance I get, and clear any bad air with friends and don’t hold back on sharing my emotions with them. Life is too short - if I lost anything important to me then I want to make sure that I never wasted the time I did have with it or with him or her.

25. Swallow your pride and apologise
Never hold a grudge and never try to win every argument. Sometimes it’s best to let your pride slide for the sake of clearing the air with someone. Be the first to say you’re sorry. Never wait for the other person to make the first move.

26. Doing anything specifically to impress people is stupid
People will never give you the validation you seek if you try to be a dancing monkey for them. Saying how many languages you speak, how rich you are, who you know, where you studied or what you do for a living, or trying to show-off in any other way to get someone to like you, or working for these things just for the bragging rights will leave you really disappointed.

People are impressed by those who aren’t trying to impress them and are comfortable in themselves and social and interesting. Sometimes to be “interesting” all you have to do is be a good listener.

27. People are not alone in being alone
One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a long-term solo traveller is if I feel lonely. The short answer is no. The long answer would require an entire post in itself.

But the fact of the matter is that loneliness is much more common around the world than I previously thought it was. I was actually much more lonely in my university (fixed) life than I am now. And I meet many people who have vast networks of social groups who feel desperately lonely because they feel nobody gets them.

Then others who simply changed their lifestyle in some way (not necessarily by travel, but perhaps marriage or starting a demanding job) and have lost contact with all their childhood friends because of it, also feel lonely.

I’ve talked to many people who are convinced they are the only ones who feel this way. Each time I hear a similar story I can hear the Police in my head “seems I’m not alone in being alone…” Believe it or not I find this very comforting when I am genuinely separated by thousands of kilometres from anyone who even knows what my name is. Even though nobody is in exactly the same situation, the amount of people in the world I’ve met tells me that I’m very likely not the only one in such a situation, even at that very second.

No matter how lonely you might feel, there is always someone who can relate to you. Perhaps you can’t talk to them right now, but they are out there.

28. Love isn’t “all” you need, but if you don’t have it in some form, your life will be very empty
We don’t need love to survive, but without it there will be a huge hole inside you. Make sure that every day you have someone (family, friends, lover) to remind you that you are special. If you postpone this part of your life until later, after you get or do that thing you want to do, you will continue in that lonely path indefinitely.

29. The most important lessons in life can never be expressed in black and white, but must be experienced
I thought I knew it all back in university - and that everything of importance can be found in books. But the truth is that the most important things in life are very hard to put in black and white, including what I’ve said in this post.

When most of the world’s information is at our fingertips, a mouse click away, it makes it feel like we don’t need to experience any more. Movies, books, or “living vicariously through someone else” means we can apparently get the general gist of anything.

This is false. Experience is the greatest teacher of all. Stop reading about or watching the world passively and start living it.


Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 55 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the edges of after-office hours and (un)limited holidays.

For collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.

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