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6 Things I learned traveling the world for a year

“All the world is my school and humanity is my teacher.” — George Whitman

On July 31, 2016 I took off on a year long journey around the world with my daughter and a group of 30+ people.

We returned to the US at the end of July 2017 better than we were when we left. That was the goal — to be wiser, more well rounded, and to learn valuable lessons about ourselves and the world.

During this year abroad, I learned:

To be comfortable with being uncomfortable — comfort zones are beautiful places, but nothing ever grows there. Including you.

To enjoy the time between the appetizer, the entree, and the check — in the US, we rush everything. Everywhere else, people take time to enjoy their meals and their time with friends. Enjoy the moments you have in life, they are not unlimited.

That we are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike — sure we look different, speak different languages, have different religious views but we all laugh when things are funny and cry when things are sad. We all just want to be happy and loved. On the surface we are different, underneath, we are the same.

That perspective is a gift — in gaining perspective, you release yourself and others from limiting views based on limited knowledge. That freedom of thought is liberating.

That humanity still exists — With the media spewing fear and hate on a daily basis, it’s easy to believe that people no longer care about one another. There are many humans all over the world, every day being kind, thoughtful, and helpful to one another. Beautiful humans are everywhere.

That we are not unconventional — people who forge their own path are typically considered “unusual”. Doesn’t it seem more strange to make the conscious decision every day to live a life you don’t enjoy and never take ownership of changing it? Let’s normalize the bold pursuit of a fulfilled life.

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