Making Dreams Come True: A Traveller’s Reflection
I’ve recently returned from a three-month adventure to South America. This was one of my dreams for as long as I can remember. Peru and Bolivia brought wonderful sights, friends and adventure. Brazil stole my heart and it’s where I found a home.
While there were many highlights and lessons learned on my trip, the following five stand out:
- Trekking the Inca Trail in Peru: Undertaking a four-day trek along the Inca Trail, I pushed myself like I never have before. It was by far the most physically challenging experience I have ever endured, but the reward couldn’t have been greater. I was able to achieve a lifelong dream and see Machu Picchu. You never know what you’re capable of if you don’t challenge yourself. Always trust and believe.
- Hang-gliding in Rio: What better way to experience Rio than run and jump off a cliff? For me this experience mirrors situations that come up in our everyday life. We only have so much time and you never know what will happen. So, make sure with whatever time you have, you follow your heart, no matter the challenge. Run and jump off the cliff. Once you take the big leap, the reward will be worth it. Embrace it with a big smile.
- Seeing a World Cup game live: The idea behind this trip came from my ambition to see a World Cup game in a country where football is a religion. Seeing a game was the classic tale of a childhood dream coming true. It took many years, dedication and perseverance, but I did it. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.
- Dancing the nights away in Brazil: I grew up dancing and competed for many years. However, over the past few years, dance is something I’ve neglected due to a busy schedule. When you truly love something, never quit. Make it work. I’m so grateful I had this time to reconnect with my biggest passion and am now finding new ways to enjoy it at home.
- Trying new foods: Throughout our trip, we came across many new foods. We tried as much as possible, including anticuchos (cow heart) which turned out to be delicious. Push your limits and step outside of your comfort zone.
Throughout the trip, many more lessons were learned and ideas provoked.You will constantly change as a person and this is a good thing; great actually. Embrace it. Take risks and don’t be afraid to explore.
I believe that travel is easily the best form of education out there. Take advantage of it. Before travelling, I urge you to think about and answer the following questions. These same questions guided my trip and allowed me to have the greatest learning experience of my life:
- Do you vow to embrace this journey with an open-mind?
- Will you immerse yourself in the culture?
- Will you push your limits?
- Will you open your thought process?
I hope the answer is yes to all of the above. Be ready to gain perspective and learn more about yourself.
As Clifton Fadiman once said, “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”
Don’t expect familiarity. Embrace the new. Seek adventures. Overcome challenges. Push yourself. Lose yourself. Find yourself. Open your senses. And always smile, for that is universal.