They are saying that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer… After 8 months of traveling in South East Asia and visiting six countries – Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, I totally agree that traveling can really impact your life and the way you think and act.
I am an AIESEC International 13/14 alumnus and CEO of HighSolutions, but more than that I am a digital nomad and a backpacker. I was traveling past 8 months in really low budget, sleeping in houses with locals, or on the CouchSurfing, traveling by the cheapest buses and trains or by hitchhiking and eating a local cheap food. In the meantime I was working remotely with my company in Poland.
This time gave me a lot of moments to rethink, who I really am, who I want to become and how I would love to give it back to the world. I want to share with you why travel can really inspire you to make a social change and bring positive impact to the world.
“There is a kind of magic about going far away and then coming back all changed.” – Kate Douglas Wiggin. New Chronicles of Rebecca.
You will see how other people live
The first time, I felt a huge culture shock and a culture difference where in Cambodia. I went for a 4 days trip on the south of Cambodia by motorcycle. I was going through a small villages and saw pictures, which will stay in my mind forever. People were living in simple wood houses with no electricity, no Internet connection and no access to news and knowledge. Children were working with their parents to be able to live with a budget of 1 dollar per day and very often did not have a proper education.
When you will be traveling you will see a lot of pictures like that and I can assure you that you will be thinking if you can make any change to help those people with their life problems…
You realize how different problems people have
People have totally different problems around the world. You will start see this when you travel. You will really find your own problems so small to these ones from less developed countries. You will even stop complaining so much, traffic jams, uncomfortable trains – these won’t be your problems any more.
You will start thinking how you would behave when you will need to feed family with just 1 dollar per day, or provide an education to your kids, when you basically cannot afford it. You will be asking yourself how people can live without access to TV, radio and Internet. You will understand that you are so lucky…
You understand how lucky you are that you grow up in a developed country
My travels really showed me how lucky I am that I was growing up in Poland and were able to have normal childhood and went to school and got my university degree. How lucky I was, that my parents were able to feed up our family and we had access to all the news and information. That I have never experience poverty and hunger and that access to health service was on really high level and I have never struggled to get proper health treatment.
After some time, of course you will get used to such pictures like below, but they will still remember you how lucky you are and make you think how you can give it back to the world…
You start thinking what actions you can make to change the world
I was asking and questioning myself how I can give it back to the world, and what I can do with my skills and knowledge to really have impact and change the world. This is how I started to contributing to AIESEC Alumni Change the World Campaign. The main goal of this campaign is to help NGOs, non-profits organisations and social enterprises to fully use potential of AIESEC network and attract more supporters and donors to help them grow and make a bigger impact in the world.
When you will start traveling you will also have this feeling to change the world and you will start thinking how to do this. There are a lot of possibilities, but the most important is to know your own strengths and use them to make a change. But more than thinking, is important to take actions!
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed.” – Pico Iyer
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