Thanks to Amazing World on Facebook, this popped up to remind me of how fearless I was when I was young-er. (Much younger!)
It had been my goal in life to travel the world, and thankfully, I had parents who didn’t try to stop me, although I knew they were worried out of their minds while I was in a different country “having a look”.
Now that I’m older and wiser, but not as adventurous, I actively encourage the young adults in my circle of influence to save their money as I did, and travel independently of their parents and see the world while they can. It’s only with hindsight that one realizes that after university, those big blocks of time off, are no more. Life distractions, like a job, marriage, family commitments and mortgage, crowd in and travel starts to seem like a luxury, rather than the necessity it is to broaden ones mind and experience other cultures.
In today’s climate where so many appear to fear other cultures rather than embrace them, I”m so glad that I was permitted the opportunity to experience the lovely people I met in Cairo, in their marketplace or in a local coffeeshop. I didn’t speak the language, but back then, 21 year olds seemed to have a universal language across the world, and I never seemed to have a problem communicating basic things to the new “friends” I made along the way.
Inside the Grand pyramid at Giza, I met a Swedish girl, who shared her bottle of water with me (inside this stone behemoth was cooler than the scorching sun outside, but still rather warm) after I caught her from stumbling on a rock. I don’t speak Swedish, but we shared a moment of laugher together, one that I’m reminded of when I see this picture. She was also traveling solo, probably also on a quest to just “have a look” while she could. Before a job, a marriage, mortgage or expensive car could make her forget about seeing the world.
My advice to young and old alike – leave the comforts of home for a while – and get out and experience a different culture – you’ll come home changed, and thankful for your life, your family, and yes, even your “stuff”.