What I Learned From This Trip

by brian on March 18, 2009

#1
“It is liberating when you realize you don’t need much to survive”
Brian Peters, March 17, 2009

That was one of the profound things that came out of my conversation with loyal reader Meredith yesterday.

I told you previously what I packed. Not much more was added to this list.

When we get away from it all we realize how very little we actually need to survive day to day. From the African sun to the cold of Europe, I was able to handle it all with just the items in my backpack.

This bag and a shoulder bag with my laptop was all I had. Really.

 What I Learned From This Trip
Some of you commented that it looks like I lost weight. My backpack was 14kg (30 lbs). The bag with my laptop I found out right before I came back to New York was 6kg (14 lbs). So I was carrying an extra 45 pounds…and able to do full sprints to catch planes and buses with everything on.

So yeah, I did lose a little weight…

#2
America is not hated. Just our government, that’s all.

I got love abroad…besides from the Ethiopian women. Not a bad thing was said until Bush #43 was brought up. Then I heard it all from the rest of the world about the American government and how can America be so heartless, yada yada yada.

Obama made everything easy. When Ayana and I were in Marrakesh the call to sit down at a vendor’s food stand was not typical for everyone else there.

We got, “Barack! Michelle! Sit down and eat with us! USA! We love America!”

The world hopes for Obama. Will they still love him a year or two from now is anyone’s guess. But the goodwill is out there among most of the planet’s inhabitants.

#3
When the world is talking to you, you must listen and act on it.

I thought about this trip for a long time before I actually left. Even up to the day I actually bought the tickets I really wondered if I was doing the right thing.

Then I thought about how EVERYTHING, and I do mean everything that fell into place for this to happen.

Selling my place – well before the housing market crashed – CHECK
Paying off all debts – CHECK
My former employer telling me buh-bye – CHECK

And then I knew it was meant to be.

So don’t ignore the signs in front of you. When the universe gives you an opportunity, you MUST take it.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 18, 2009 at 5:53 AM

You are almost like the real life character of the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. He also says that when it’s meant to be the universe conspires in our favour and you just have to pay attention to the signs. Arlete

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Meredith March 18, 2009 at 11:14 AM

I agree. I am learning how to pack lighter. As a woman I am guilty of taking ever cosmetic I own ” just in case” b/c as a girl scout we were taught to be prepared. I skipped the camping trip weekend, so I missed the “what you REALLY need to survive class. My cell phone has Microsoft word on it so I journaled there, but not having my own laptop in Japan really hindered me as far as blogging and communicating with family so next international trip a laptop is a MUST.

M.

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Kymbugs March 18, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Brian, this is so inspiring! Simple but profound insights. You are an amazing person!

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Jeremy Jones March 18, 2009 at 9:25 PM

I agree with anonymous. That is such a great book. If you haven’t read it, do. It’s one of my favorites.

I like #3 the best. I think when you go against the universe you will just end up being unhappy. I can only imagine a lifetime of that will lead to much bitterness. Too bad so many people are afraid of taking a step into the unknown and potentially uncomfortable

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rhonalala March 18, 2009 at 10:34 PM

I understand when things fall into place, your life can change. I originally wanted to take a Trafalgar tours trip to Europe. 5 countries in 10 days. I booked it Feb 2008. All was well until June when the travel agent called to say that trip was cancelled. I was devastated as I had wanted this trip for so long. After that heartbreak I was chosen for the work exchange program in August and now I am off to see those 5 counties and more! My flight, accomodations and most of my food are paid for. I personally believe the Lord wanted this trip for me but without spending the $3000+ from TT. We all have a mission in life and I think right now, mine is to travel a bit.

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brian March 19, 2009 at 11:18 AM

@Arlete
I’ve heard this concept of the world conspiring to help you for a long time. Next blog post I’ll delve into that a little more for my particular case. But I completely agree! I’ll put that book on my Amazon wish list.

@Meredith
Packing light is a little harder for the ladies. But you saw with Ayana it possible. I had the laptop and glad I had it, but I would like to try a much smaller netbook like ASUS for updating the blog and Skype.

@Kymbugs
Your check is in the mail!

@LivingtheDream
The unknown is what scares many of us from doing a trip like this, or many other things in life. “What if” is always the question. I’m not saying “What if” is not a legit question, but we tend to talk ourselves out of things before we even try.

@rhonalala
It just wasn’t your time. And you weren’t suppose to spend that money.

And our mission(s) in life changes as we grow and evolve. I’m a different person that I was 9 years ago. Hence my priorities and aspirations have changed.

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