"Travel changed you."
"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world"
"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions"
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man"
Some quotes on travel makes me realized how much i have changed since my first travel until now. I am not the same person i was several years ago when i started to packing up my luggage for my first honeymoon in Phuket and booked my first air ticket. I'm not even packing up the same way. My priority has changed, and so do my eyes, and my soul. Here i list down 15 things about me that changed since i start travel.
1. I say "Thank You" a lot.
Yes. When i am in foreign countries, i will be very grateful and thankful for any kind and humble gestures by the locals and the help from any strangers. I learnt to say thank you in any condition to any person i met. I learnt to say thank you all the time. Back to hometown, the same habit continues. I say thank you to anyone who serve me, not just those who i ask for help. Even if its in their job scope to serve me, nothing hurt me to say thank you, isn't it? I say thank you when the waiter take my order, i say thank you when he serve my drink and my food, i say thank you when cashier give me the balances, i even say thank you to the 'majlis perbandaran' workers who collect my garbage every evening! I loose nothing when i say thank you. In fact, i feel happier.
2. I don't see colors in people.
Raised up in multi-language and multi-racial country called Malaysia unfortunately has not easily created a global-mindedness in me. It's too obvious in Malaysia that,"Hey i am malay, he is chinese, she is indian, and that guy is sabahan". We Malaysian are still differentiate people by race and color. As i traveled to many countries, i become to see human as human. No color. We are all equal without any special treat just because of race and colors. Good people are good because they have a good heart, not because they are white or black.
3. Strangers are nice
When i was in foreign countries, i began to realize that strangers are not as bad as we think. It is so stupid to have that negative perspective towards one nations or people when all that you can do is to rely on them most of the time and they are surprisingly very nice and kind and humble and helpful! Apparently my mom's advice to "not to talk to strangers" are no longer valid.
4. My shower time is shorter
5 minutes are the longest shower time i had. I could have done it less than that. Hey, how long can you actually take to brush your teeth, wash your whole body, put on soap and shampoo, and wash it off? Why need more time in that cubicle when you got a whole lot of adventure awaits outside?
5. I choose backpack or slingbag over handbag
Simple. It is much more easier to bring. I can put a lot of things, and they are practical, convenience and safe. I need my both hand into action, not to reserve one of those to hold a bag!
6. I choose sneakers and flipflop over high heel.
The same reason; convenience, safe, and practical. I only wear heels during hari raya and kenduri-kendara. The main reason is, i walk a lot. A LOT.
7. The idea of climbing the corporate ladder sound boring and unattractive.
Yep. No longer interested entering a corporate world, wearing a nice dress, a coat, a pant, and a pointed shoes. Don't get me wrong. I am still fond with economic and business talk, but to pursue that higher stats in corporate world is not in my list. Unless there's a firm who's willing to hire a CEO who wears a jean, a backpack and a sneaker that they need to reach for meeting somewhere between Machu Pichu and Papua New Guinea!
8. The idea of collecting money, assets, houses, changing cars, and handbags are no longer make sense.
Meeting an old friends who continuously talking about job, salary, houses, and cars are really boring. It's not relate to me at all and it's never make sense. I mean, why should you change your car to a better one when the old one still working? Why should you add more loan on your belt? Why should you "buy" a house you cannot afford when most of your time in a day is in a car facing traffic jamm and in the office facing your boss?
9. I spend most of my money over education and experience
I began to have only 2 goals in my life, one is to pursue my and my daughter's education to a higher level, and the other one is me and my daughter - travel around the world.
10. I am not interested to change new curtain and add on more furniture in my house, even when hari raya is coming.
I mean, Why should i?
11. I don't even feel the need to spend anything for myself for hari raya.
To splurge on for hari raya is so ridiculous and merely stupid. It's only 2 days for god sake. Why should we spend it like its a biggest event in our lifetime? We should wear a nice clothes, yes. But nice clothes doesn't always mean NEW clothes. My last years clothes are still nicely kept in a wardrobe which i only wore it like.... 3 times?
12. I read and write even more
The more i travel, the wider my brain expand. It gives me inspiration to write. When you writes, you start to appreciate other's writing. You imagine how great their mind is to have such a good write up like that. You inspired by others journey and you set your mind for a greater journey.
13. I don't mind to stay in budget chalet when their hospitality is superb!
There is something about that budget - family managed - chalet. Their hospitality are THE BEST! You cannot get that warm and friendly gestures in a luxury or big hotels. In hotels, they treat you like one of their many tourist customers, but in family managed chalet, you get a new friends and you will be treated like one. In hotel, you feel like a foreigner. In budget chalet, you feel like home in foreign places.
14. My interpretation of "within walking distance" has expand.
Within walking distance? 30 minutes walk is manageable. You get used to walk from one place to another while traveling it makes you feel awkward to start an engine and waste a petrol for a 5 minutes drive destination. It's absurd.
15. I get used to a receipt with GST!
No matter what rate it is. Be it 6%, 8%, 10%, and even 12%! I'd saw them all and i paid it all without hesitate. Sometimes i took out my expensive calculator (read: iphone) to calculate how much i spend on the taxes. The first time will always be the mind blowing experience. But trust me, you will get used to it fast. I guess that's what a traveler is. We adapt to a situation without hesitation. We prepared and always ready for change. I contribute so many GST in foreign country (don't mind to claim it back in the airport. I hate the long que), why should i feel the pain when it is time to contribute a penny for my home country? I just play the extra part as one of the citizen of the country ever since i took a vow and hold that red passport and proudly said that i am MALAYSIAN when i am abroad.
I. traveler. I. adapt.
"A wise traveler never despises his own country"