The humility that only traveling can teach you.
It is no secret that social media has given people the ability to live simultaneously in two parallel universes. One universe is the real life, where everyday people struggle to make ends meet, that place full of pain, disappointment, loss, unfairness, loneliness, and the other universe, our online world. The place where everything is possible, where a regular rainy winter Monday, can be transformed into a fabulous morning full of positive vibes, determination and ambition. All it takes is a smartphone, a little bit of make up and a couple of filters and.....boom. You just transformed your reality into a dream life that thousands will envy looking at it.
Why am I writing all this? I have for the last 20 years spent the life of a Nomad. My career took me to places I never thought possible, not because I planned , but because it turned out this way. I work in Shipping, the only one in my family to go astray from Engineering, and the price I had to pay for a chance at a career was to go abroad. I had no family ties to the business, and thank God I realized this early enough and decided to pursue my dreams away from Greece. It wasn't easy, it involved a lot of loneliness, but in the end you can say it paid off. I had to go to places that would not be on my wish list, simply because that's where the next well paying opportunity would be. My attitude has always been, that if you love what you do, and you get well compensated for it, it gives you the freedom and possibilities to live life the way you want, not the way circumstances allow you to.
So I traveled and lived in different parts of the world across both hemispheres. And the more I traveled, the less I felt the need to glorify it by posting pictures online. Maybe because loneliness was taking its toll on me every now and then, maybe because I have seen true poverty on the streets of Sao Paulo, and true wealth in London, Houston, Dubai. Maybe because the more I was seeing the more I realized, how small my life is in the spectrum between someone who has nothing and lives on the street, and someone who has everything money can buy. My life is a million times better than some people's, and a million times worse than the lives of some others. Yet I have seen the ones with nothing smiling, and others with everything being miserable.
And now back to our online world. I see the everyday people, who became overnight sensations through a reality show, post glamorous pictures from a five-star resort in Mykonos, or Bali, and wanting to show the world how well they have done for themselves. In most cases, they are not even paying for those trips, but will leave that aside for the moment. The very people that had to live with their parents until their late 30s, because leaving home and standing on their own two feet was too scary for them. In a way, I do find that online extravaganza vulgar, for me and others who have been around the world and saw the flip side of the coin. Thumbs up for all those posting the simple everyday moments of a normal life, these are the real people without unfulfilled desires. The people who are able to seize happiness in the moments, not chasing the sparkling glamour of a fake background. Most of all, the people who are comfortable in their own skin. Because in the end this is what separates them from the wannabes.
What I have come to realize over the years is that the people who have traveled the most, are the ones who are posting the least online, (unless that's their profession). And when they do, they make it simple, spontaneous, and not with an objective. It is almost as if their rich in experiences life, gives them a sense of humility. When they do engage online, and share their moments with the world, they do it in a calm, unpretentious way. On the other hand, if you post 300 pics from the same resort you've been to once in your life, trying to convince me and the world, of the glamour and sparkle in your life, all you do is displaying your poorness of experiences in plain site. But that's ok, your thousands of followers like you will be loyally watching.....With travel comes humility, and when you start seeing the world, you too will realize how small and unglamorous we all are.
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