My country is the World. My religion is to be Human.

Life lessons I learned in Asia

When I put all the figures from my trip in Asia on paper, I was very surprised:

  • I traveled 33 000 km
  • I spent  70 hours in airplane
  • I visited 7 countries
  • Time spent traveling: 100 days

The most common question I get all the time: What did you learn, what changed you?
In fact, the most important lessons can be summarized here:

1. We do not live in the present

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We are constantly bombarded by deadlines, projects, people emitting different energy and a looot of noise. We constantly think about the things that happened and how these things will affect the future events. We rarely stop and enjoy the moment. And that’s how we end up in the loop of living in the past, that has passed and will not return, and the future we do not have and we do not know whether we will have it. This moment is all we have, enjoy it, live in it.

2. I have everything I need at all times

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I traveled with a backpack for 100 days. It was much easier than I thought. It’s amazing how we make ourselves dependent on a variety of things. We disrance ourselves t from the nature, although it has the capacity to give us everything we could possibly need. While I was traveling I had no other choice but to get the best out of the things surrounding me. When I would fall and get hurt I would pick some aloe vera from the garden and would rub it into my skin for a few days- it heals very quickly. When I got head lice I made some natural concoctions that helped but too soon. However, it does not matter whether I are surrounded by the urban jungle or the natural one, I have everything I need to survive – crazy mind that believes in miracles and an optimistic view of the world. With this I will succeed in whatever I do.

3. A smile is the universal language

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Language barriers are obstacles for ordinary people, but not for people who know how to smile from their hearts. When you smile at someone, expect a smile back, no matter what language you speak.

4. The range of happiness is the same for all people

 

The biggest shock to me were the smiling people of Thailand, essentially happy and that can be seen on their serene faces. The population of Thailand is 68 million and I rarely met a person who is grim or unpleasant towards me. They do not have much but they all are happy with what they have. I often made a parallel between those happy people and those who are happy because they a lot of money. And there is no difference – happiness is happiness. You realize that happiness is a state of mind rather than what surrounds you.

5. The best plan is not to have a plan – I’ll have to get lost more offten

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When you are somewhere in the world you feel safe having some kind of a plan. This is great but not the best solution. Sometimes the best solution is not to have a plan and to indulge in the streets, scents, colors and people. Let yourself go so that environment can lead you. Whenever I walked without a plan, I saw some incredible landscapes, things I certainly would not have seen had I had a plan. When you do not have a plan, you can stay in one place for as long as you want and you can immediately pick up your stuff and leave. Freedom and the element of surprise are essential, in this case.

6. Attachment is your biggest enemy 

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Attachment is the biggest problem people face today. It most frequently manifests itself in the dependence on the things, people and emotions. We are bound to others to such an extent that we focus on them and not on ourselves in most cases. Then we develop emotions that hold us back and cloud our judgment. The worst form of attachment is to material things. We surround ourselves with things that we do not need and do not use. A bunch of them is to fill in other holes that we have inside. Live through people, emotions and stuff. Do not feel envy and commitment to things because that is a form of imprisonment.

7. We are never alone

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Loneliness is a state of mind, not an actual fact. We are never alone. People often ask me how I managed to travel alone in Asia, whether I was lonely… I do not understand how this is possible when all around me there are so many interesting people around me- travelers, locals, living beings…

8. Safety is an illusion

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People love security and it is actually an illusion that we create to help us live in this uncertain and changing world. Nothing is certain, so why should we create illusions in order to make us feel secure when there is no point in doing that? Do the things you want to, although they are very risky! Enjoy every moment of uncertainty because it is the greatest fun you can have at any moment.

9. The world is a huge place and a lot of people need our help

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We are not even aware of how many people there are who need our help. If we would reach a balance, everyone would have everything they need. Therefore, tomorrow, help someone, teach somebody something, smile at someone in your environment. When you give a little, that’s a lot for this world.

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Milica Radovic-Mandic

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