I can tick off another country visited during the 2in52 year; Sunny Singapore! Flying away from the dreary grey and frosty mornings of Perth, I learnt some important things, not just about the greater world around us but also about myself. The infamous expression goes; travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer. I’d like to believe these life experiences will make me into the more rounded individual people could trust and look to for guidance. This is just a beautiful reminder to anyone who feels they’re competing with fresh, straight out of school faces – don’t underestimate your experience. Here’s why I think everyone should take a solo trip sometime in their lifetime.
Everyone knows how important it is to show prospective employees during your interviews that you are a team player, that you will fit the culture of the team… I’ve never worried about that. Forgive the horrible Asian metaphor here (both Kylie and myself are of Filipino heritage on our mothers’ side), but I’ve always considered myself like white rice. Man, I’ll get along with nearly everything – I’m (hopefully) inoffensive, supportive and the one who doesn’t lead the conversation but mentally maps out the direction and keeps the flow moving in the right direction. Herein is probably my weakness – when you’re your own worse enemy can you truly say that you’ve got the self-belief and attitude to work independently and trust your own instincts and ability? If you can navigate your way to and around a foreign place, you don’t need to feel like that damsel in distress anymore – you’re self-sufficient!
I don’t think it matters what age you are, there is always going to be something that catches you off guard, leaves you spellbound or completely shatters how your tiny perception of the world. It’s so dangerous to think that the tiny corners of our minds are the be-all-and-end-all of our universe; it’s why self education and reflection are such highly regarded skills in employees. Expand your mind, expand your peripherals, explore your vocabulary (and why not do in in places where your vocabulary is not the native tongue!) You’ll find yourself painting in colours you never thought of using before.
Putting yourself in uncomfortable or challenging situations builds character and the more out of your comfort zone, the greater the sense of satisfaction you will achieve. I don’t think I’ll ever become complacent with where I’m at but I suppose it’d better than turning into a mindless robots who checks in for their 9-5s and collect their pay check. My travels have always been reminders of how far I’ve come and what opportunities exist out there. They make you question what is important in life and challenge you to become more rounded, balanced and mature human beings.
I don’t think I’ll ever approach holidays abroad solely for relaxation purposes – they are an exciting step to becoming the person I want to be. Even if you aren’t in a position to go overseas, think about a destination more local – if you’re interested in finding a new version of yourself, chances are you won’t be finding them sitting on your couch at home.
Travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer.