MonthApril 2017

How traveling can fix these three problems of the Millennials

A few weeks ago I foud this interview to Simon Sinek in which he perfectly defines what a millennial is, the problems we have to adapt to the real world and the reasons why it is like this. Honestly, I haven’t grown up in the same environment as most of you guys did, but still, I feel Identified with some of the points Simon addresses in the interview. And I have come with one simple solution to our problems, Traveling.

How Traveling can help us to build our confidence back?

The first problem Simon Sinek says we millennials have, is low self-esteem, which he links to “failed parenting strategies”. Ever since we were born, we were told that we are special, that we can have whatever we want just because we want it, and our parents made sure that we had it.
One thing that really surprised me when I moved to the western world (I am originally Ethiopian and moved to Spain when I was nine) was that the kids in my class got presents from their parents just because they had passed a subject, it didn’t matter if the grade was a C or an A. If I did get a C on any subject by then I could say goodbye to all my privileges at home at least for a month.
And we could find thousands of examples like that one. That is bad parenting, don’t get it wrong, parents do that seeking the best for their children and to make them happy. But at the end of the day, when the kid has to walk by himself out in the real world, he finds out that a C is not enough, that he is not special, he is just like everyone else around, and all this happens in an instant and we don’t really know hoe to deal with it, and it builds up into a low self-esteem.

How traveling help us with this problem?

When we are traveling we are not self-absorbed in ourselves and our problems, we get to higher our sights and see different realities than the ones we are used to, we meet wonderful, special people that humble us, and make us see things differently. For example, when I am traveling to my country I can only think of how tiny I am compared to that 7-8 years old kid making some money by cleaning people’s shoes just to bring money home, to help his mom, to feed his little brothers, that makes me realise that I am not as half a man as he is, that I am lucky to have had this life, that there is a long way to go for me to earn the respect my family and friends, that sometimes I drown into a glass of water and fail to see the bigger picture. That keeps me moving, working.
Knowing that there are different realities out there makes you see that every day you wake up and go do whatever it is that you are doing, you are choosing to do exactly that, that you are the manager of your time and your life. This is how self-confidence is built.

How Traveling can help us to deal with stress in a much healthier way

In the video, Simon Sinek defines the second big handicap we millennials have, and that is the fact that we don’t have the appropriate mechanisms to deal with stress. Stress is the major source of lots of health problems as well as addictions.

Most addictions are produced when we are still teenagers, that is a stage of life in which we suffer a lot of stress, it is the stage when we say “hello” to the world for the first time standing on our own feet. And we have to be accepted for our fellows and we suffer a lot of insecurities and anxieties. That lead us to stress and the search fo dopamine to handle that stress, when we drink alcohol, for instance, that frees some dopamine into our brain and makes us feel better, happier, we forget about our problems for a moment, and when we repeat that process over and over again is when the addiction is produced. Now, alcohol is not the only substance that frees dopamine into our brains, text notifications in our phones can produce it too, and that is why there can be cases in which we get addicted to our smartphones.

Smartphones could be considered as our alcohol, our way to deal with stress. When we are in a conference room surrounded by a bunch of people, we feel that social anxiety that it produces us and take the easy road and stare at our phones instead of talking to each other, this way we miss the opportunities to engage with other people. Just remember all those times when you got to sit beside the girl or the boy you like, you get nervous, avoid eye contact and check your Instagram feed, rally knowing that it is not what you should be doing, five minutes later he/she goes away, you missed that opportunity to engage with that person.

How traveling help us with this problem?

First of all, we all know how traveling can be a great way to get away from everything that stresses us and chill out a little bit. But it’s not only about the time we are actually traveling but the effect that it has in the long term. Traveling can help us tackle the problem from the root.

When we are on the road, in another city, another country, there are lots of moments when we don’t even have connection to the internet, so we are forced to get over our social anxiety and actually talk to other people, and that teaches our brain that there is nothing wrong about interacting with other people. We also expose ourselves to a lot of different situations, we address unusual problems that we have to solve by ourselves, and we learn how not to drown in a glass of water and how to deal with stress.

How Traveling can help us to build our confidence patience

The third problem Simon states we millennials have to deal with is Impatience. We live in the world of instant gratification, we want to watch a movie? we just need a browser or our phones, we want to flirt with someone? just swipe right. All this technological advancement we were exposed to from a very young age, plus, having our parents do everything for us, has taught us that just by wishing we can have whatever we want.

How traveling help us with this problem?

Do you want to visit the most exotic and beautiful lands? You are gonna have to travel for 12+ hours, it requires the traveling of very long distances to get there, it is exhausting, but the prize at the end of it is totally worth it. Do you want the most amazing views of the place? You are gonna have to hike the biggest mountains or walk the highest hills of the city.

Travelling can really teach us that we have to sweat hard to get the best of what we want.

A trip to never forget – The Philippines

Why The Philippines?

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

The Phillippines

The Phillippines

That quote could easily summarize what the Philippines are. I am sure you have about the beauty of this place over and over again, from some friends who spent their vacations there, or even from blogs like mine, and you might be intrigued about what we are talking about or skeptical to believe our words but, let me tell you that none of what you have been told can compare to the beauty of the Philippines. Nor the pictures you see, nor the words you read or hear can make justice to this place.

Funniest thing of all, we went to this place because I was one the only countries where I didn’t Visa to travel to. When returning to Seoul from Jeju Island, we saw that amazing wall of Images in the ferry station where they displayed some of the most beautiful Unesco World Heritages and we decided that our next destinations would be one of those amazing places.

Right after arriving in Seoul, we started planning our next trip, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and The Philippines made it to our final list, and as I told you before, The Philippines was the only country where I could travel without Visa so, we made it our election.

It was already Mid-November and the winter was already installed in Seoul and we were trying to escape it by any means, but finally, the day arrived and it was time to start packing for our next adventure, The Philippines.

Our one day experience in Manila

Our main destination was Palawan, but there are not a direct flight from Seoul so, we made our first stop in Manila. From the very moment we landed, we could feel the sweet hot and humidity of the island, we could say goodbye to our winter jackets for a while.
Before our arrival to the airport, we had heard a long list of awful things the guards could do to us, but nothing of that happened.

But truth to be told, the traffic is worse than you can possibly imagine, It took us more than an hour to get to our Homeaway, and I promise to god, the distance was a 10 minutes walk, but we didn’t know.

In Manila, we were so lucky that one of us had a good friend os his living there, It made it really easy to us for spending one of the craziest nights I remember, a night just to enjoy and forget.

After waking up the day after, with one of the greatest hangovers of my life, we headed to the airport, there we would take a plane to Palawan, where we spent 9 amazing days.

First days in The Paradise

When we arrived, our HomeAway guest was waiting for us at the airport with a great van and brought us to her home in Las Roxas.

The fist day we took it easy, we went to a quite beach where it was just the 10 of us and just relaxed a little, with we would be needing to stand the days that were coming.

The third day of our trip, we went to Modessa Resort Island, a recommendation by our host, this is a great place for snorkeling, it was the very first time I tried and I really did love it, the earth is also beautiful under its water cover.

We had a great day on the island, after snorkeling for a long time, we went lunch and then had a long walk through the island and lied in its white, hot sands for a while until the sun went down.

Modessa Resort Island

Modessa Resort Island

After spending three amazing days in Roxas, we decided it was time to visit El Nido, our HomeAway host was so cool, she arranged everything for us.

El Nido and its unbelievable beauty

The image you see below was taken from the balcony of the hotel, and for the next 4 days we would be waking up in the morning and having breakfast with that before us.
We arrived early in the morning, so we were in time for taking one of the ships you see in the picture for island hopping.

I have never seen such a beautiful thing, and from that moment to this very day, there is a thought in my mind: There is too much beauty in this world to stay at the same place forever. It changed the meaning traveling had for me, “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”

The very last day we had in El Nido, we decided to do something on our own, not guided, not scheduled, we improvised.

We went to one little town where there were almost no tourists and us divided into two groups, some just wanted to chill on the beach and others to discover a bit more of the place and walked a long way through the forest and it headed to that beach you see in the picture, I have no idea what it name is, it wasn’t in our plans.

The Philippines

The Philippines

After the long walk we had we were really thirsty, and had no water with us, lucky for us, the place was full of coconuts, what we didn’t know is, how hard it is to punch it out without the necessary tools. We ended up getting our price anyways tho.

During a couple of hours we spent there, we encountered with no one but few locals that made their living there.

The Philippines

The Philippines

We felt like Tom Hanks in Cast Away and even felt confident that we could fabric about to make our way back (it didn’t really work out).

The People

Humbleness, not having and not needing. Not needing a baby carriage to feel like you are a better parent, your kids not needing a hundred toys to be entertained, not having too much because you can’t afford it, and being happy anyway because you already realized that you don’t need it.

The Phillippines

The Phillippines

Your parents or your older brothers being the only people you want to look alike, because they are your greatest heroes and because you are not exposed to a 24/7 constant advertising on TV or the internet reminding you what you should have or how you have to look like to be accepted by everyone else, and making you feel that if you don’t have it you are automatically less interesting, less cool. Feeling beautiful even though you are not exactly Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, because they are not your model of beauty. Having the confidence to do whatever it is that you want without aiming to be somebody else.

This is exactly what you can see in these people waking up every morning in that paradise that they are lucky to call home. When you asked them for a picture, you didn’t see someone trying to give you his best angle for the picture, neither a fake smile, everything you saw was a person curious about what you were doing, trying to figure out in their heads who were you or where did you come from.

Money, makeup, an expensive hear cut, cloth from a boutique… How many of those things do you think you need to look beautiful? NONE! Something original, you own style, no matter what the biggest brands in the fashion industry said would be cool to wear this spring or what everyone else is doing to his hair, be confident that if you feel comfortable with yourself you are wearing the right thing. That and one big smile in your face is all you need to look beautiful.
Be original, be curious, be confident and smile, put a big smile on your face every morning and wear it everywhere, it really does fit with everything. That is what I learned from the people of the Philippines.

“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”

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