Why I Travel…
I could say it beats working, but to tell you the truth, the work is the part I enjoy. I am not a tourist… I am a traveller.
I get asked why I travel, a lot actually and I have never really thought about it too hard. I act on impulse and am drawn to happiness; that is the simplified reasoning behind my travels. To make this blog post worth reading, I’ll elaborate…
Seeing the sun rise over Angkor Wat clutching my sister’s hand, made my life worth living. I felt blessed to my bones and appreciative of every second. I have never married or given birth, but they have a lot to live up to. Hearing a student utter their first English phrase or seeing the Louvre in all its glory, it’s not an emotion I could have experienced without leaving home.
Education of Religion
I do not practise any religion. My choice. I have seen the dedication during the call to prayer in the centre of Dubai and watched the Chinese pierce their skin with metal poles because of their complete faith in their religion. Until I feel the same level of dedication, I am still learning my way. My fascination with religion led me to hours of conversation with my Thai students, they pray to Buddha but study at a Catholic school. They understand where their faith lies and live their lives according to Buddha and his practices, but chant the Hail Mary prayer without understanding a word they are saying. Sitting cross-legged on the floor discussing the 120+ Chinese gods with a Thai friend enriched me more than any class I have ever sat through.
Being a traveller has its embarrassing moments, these are either due to local alcohol poisoning or when you are met with a culture clash. For example, sitting on a desk in a Thai classroom is disrespectful and could result in your class yelping in unison: “Teeeeecher NO!” These are my favourite and most treasured moments. Lighting a candle correctly to place beneath a Buddha statue in Angkor Wat or learning how to bless my students (wish them well) on Teacher Day, accepting their gifts correctly and bowing to your elders in traditional Thai fashion – these are the lessons I live for.
The more I see, the more I realise how small and insignificant my life is. I also know I have barely touched the surface of the world map. My personal growth has made every cent spent worth it, I am the woman I am today because of my experiences. Everyone finds their way differently, mine just happened to be witnessing over one hundred Buddhist Monks chant in unison and feeling the world hum around me, I felt peace.