TURNING 50 – LESSONS FROM TRAVEL
My new phase in life – a phase filled with learning, adventure, and purpose started with a cycling trip from Prague to Budapest in the summer of 2013. The self-powered trip took me 8 days and covered 4 countries – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary.
It feels pretty cool to enter a country on a cycle!
Travelling was not new to me, but this trip was distinctly different.
1. Most importantly, it was a trip where I learned a new form of travel – to travel on your own power. When one walks or cycles, one experiences the land and people with a great sense of intimacy.
2. What you get to know is your own strength and endurance
3. Most of the time, you are on your own. This slow mode of transport allows you time to observe the passing scenery and reflect on life.
4. Travel is an opportunity to think anew – abandon your identity, your labels. To travel in anonymity can be intensely liberating.
6. The trip took me through the country roads, through villages and small towns and motels. You miss all this romance when you whizz past them in a car on an interstate. Country roads are where you encounter life. Remember, life is banned on the interstate.
7. It taught me that one must become rich through enriching experiences and not through material wealth alone.
9. Taking about 2 weeks from routine as an entrepreneur allows you to test your business continuity. Would your business continue without you? Do you have your systems in place?
10. You realize that the road is life. It gets boring if it is flat, but if there is a steep slope, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view and then a slope where you enjoy the joy of effortlessly going down. Hey, you earned it!
10. It hooked me on a new way of life and I looked forward to the next one every time one ended.
It encouraged me to take more trips – the next one, motorcycling in the Himalayas, then river rafting in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the US, then exploring the Amazon jungle in Brazil, and then a multi- sport trip, mostly kayaking or cycling through Croatia.
After that, life was never the same again.
I became a kind of a Walter Mitty where my life, otherwise turning monotonous, changed to one with action-filled adventures and learning.
The earth is a giant theme park after all.
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