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THINGS WE’VE LEARNT IN ONE YEAR OF TRAVEL

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After spending one year in travel we would like to think we got something out of it. Here’s a little sum up of what were the life truths we got out of being on the road 🙂

1. WATER WASHES EVERYTHING

No, seriously. I know it may seem like a strange discovery but think about it. When was the last time you were washing something, your hands, dishes, clothes without a detergent of some sort? Water washes yak fat from metal pots and old milk stains from clothes, I can tell you that. It’s a simple thing, but makes you realize how many things we use we don’t really need. How much chemicals you put around you everyday you just can go without. (FIY after Mongolia, I still use soap).

aaaand

WATER IS A TREAT

I remember on a chilly January morning having a shower on the rooftop of my hostel in Kathmandu. It was just after dawn, in beautiful stillness that lasts only moments in a city like this. I was pouring streams of steaming water over me. I knew it would last just  a few minutes and that I am very lucky, that at the time of the fuel crisis, when India closed gas pipes in Nepal, I was enjoying a 5 star luxury shower in an open-air rusty shed. I appreciate every shower with running hot water I have had since.

2. FRIENDS NOT FOES


That’s  often the case you discover the most about your own culture being away. Many times I found it easier to communicate in a far away land, which I thought will be as distant as ET flying to the Moon, than with fellow Westerners met on the road.
When we went to Korea, Mr Choi and Mrs Lee invited us with open arms and tables full of kimchi, seaweed, rice, fish, vegemite and pure joy. We could speak for hours, about travel and life, people we met and our plans. Mr Choi was born in early 50’s, split in two, Korea. You would think our perspectives on life would not be more different, but in the end, we both drink,  love adventure and use internet. Or lets say Batsu, our Mongolian horse whisperer guide, without whom we would most probably die somewhere in the steppe in the first few hours eaten by angry goats. With his boyish smile and sparkle in eyes, I knew we had a connection even though he knew 3 words in English and I knew 3 in Mongolian (that makes 6 different meanings which is not that little). We joked and played cards. He was always winning, giving nonchalant looks to all doomed to fail competitors. He also explained that I lead an unhealthy  glued- to- the -computer- lifestyle which makes me blind, compared to his high life on the steppe (I wear glasses but he looks 20 years older than he is).


There are so many people out there you will meet when you leave home. That’s the adventure.
Workaway Korea

3. LIVE THE  BEAUTY
Japan. Throughout the whole stay I got the same feeling of calmness and encompassing beauty. In the bows when saying hello, in their ‘itadakimasu’ before eating expressing gratitude, in the way they stop and take photos of flowers and build spaces to watch droplets of water. Alien beauty of seeing the world differently.


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4. HOW YOU SEE THE WORLD IS ON YOU

Travelling can be quite intense, so if you have problems coping with some things in your familiar environment you might have issues being exposed to a new level of crazy elsewhere. Crowds of screaming vendors in a language you don’t understand, Menus you can not read and subtle behaviours you don’t grasp. It’s a decision to start getting angry when it’s dark, raining, when you’re hungry and can’t find a place to sleep. We made this decision many times.

When you change the way you look at something, you change the object itself. I am telling you, it’s scientific. 

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IF SOMETHING WORKS IN TRAVEL, IT WORKS IN LIFE AKA TRAVEL LIGHT AND HELP PEOPLE

Like with everything, the longer you are on the road, the better you understand in which direction you want to go. We found our way of travel in volunteering. We have the skills (like everybody) we can offer to someone who needs it. In return The Someone, who suddenly gains a Name, shares life with you for a while.  What better way is there to get to know another place than to help someone grow cabbage (yes, I am from Poland), build a home, teach, share and learn. I am sure it’s obvious for most of you but I got it right after years of travel.
And travel light. In life, in general. My world’s possessions  for a year weight 15 kg. Too much. I didn’t have to go through the process of uncluttering, because I just took 15 kg of my stuff and moved away, leaving full wardrobe at parents place. Sorry, I will unclatter your house soon. That’s the post – trave -l next step. Minimalism rules.

mongolia workaway ulaanbataar yurt
workaway mongolia yurt ulaanbataar
So that’s that. Travelling is as a remedy for the madness of the world.
Cheers to you all,  
Ola
(02.08.2018, Melbourne)

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