Recently, I was chatting with a friend on Facebook and since we haven’t seen each other for a year, she asked me “What’s up?”
Apart from my travels? What’s new to tell him? I remembered my personal development since the departure on my round-the-world trip. And I told him that in each country I was receiving a life lesson . It’s always with a lot of fun and joy that I discover it by taking stock of a country.
P/s: the same lesson can come back, until I understand. For example, since I didn’t work very well on my perfectionism in Spain, the same lesson was taught to me again in Japan.
As you may have noticed, I have written many articles about my travels in Turkey and Egypt, hoping to promote tourism in these two countries on my small scale. However, there is a common lesson that I have learned in these two countries, which I will share with you right away.
To give you a bit of context. In Turkey, we spent an extended weekend in Pamukkale, known for its natural limestone basins/basins. We saw the pictures on the internet and the place looked like a fairy-tale place. When we arrived there, we discovered that the basins were completely empty. And that there was no water. I don’t know why I was very uncomfortable, almost angry… when I went there to visit other things as well, not only these basins of water, there was nothing at stake here. My reaction was far too negative about the situation and I didn’t understand why I was reacting so badly.
2 days later, we came back and there was water (they couldn’t afford to fill all the basins or there would be foam in them). Of course, I was very happy.
And then I heard a family moaning in the next room “why it’s forbidden to bathe in these natural basins”, when they must have justbeen happy that there was water.
That’s when I learned my lesson.
When you take things for granted, you no longer know how to appreciate your luck.
Like me for the last 2 days, I’ve been bitching about the lack of water, but I took the whiteness of the basins for granted. Whereas a few years ago, there was plenty of water, and tourists complained about the color of the basins (caused by algae).
I’ve talked about it in more detail here if you’re interested
In Egypt, we had the chance to be upgraded in an almost private boat (4 people instead of 14), like that, by chance. Our boat is really very nice and different from other boats.
As we often come across other boats of the same company during temple visits, three people from another boat asked to visit ours. If they had a lot of praise for our boat, they couldn’t help but criticize their own, a magnificent luxury sailing boat, recognizable among a thousand (besides I have lots of pictures of this boat on my camera because I find it so beautiful). It looks like they spent a hell of a vacation on a boat that could… when it’s one of the most luxurious options we have to sail up the Nile.
At the beginning, I didn’t understand how we could be so unhappy, in Egypt, on the Nile, on a luxury boat ! And then I wondered: if I had not been upgraded. And if I was on the other boat of 14 people, I would have found the boat of 4 people more beautiful than mine, that’s for sure.
And if I had learned, on top of that, that customers who paid the same as me, were upgraded, without any reason, to be on the boat of 4, would I have been disgusted?
If I’m looking for value for money.
If I want it to be right all the time.
I will be disappointed all the time.
While if I am grateful for the situation, whatever the situation, paying attention only to what is important to me, ignoring the small, insignificant details, I can only be happy.
One week later, a not super top guide was sent to us for the visit of the Pyramids, he was a little stingy in explanations… We passed in front of other French-speaking guides who gave a lot of details about this or that thing, while our guide was content to give us one sentence of explanation per monument.
At the time, I applied my newly learned lesson with the history of the boat, thinking “I don’t believe the pyramids are graves anyway, so I wouldn’t have been interested in this bullshit. Anh, be thankful that it spares you all these tales of sleeping on your feet”. And then, at one point, our minds seemed to connect: the guide and I had a fascinating discussion about the construction hypotheses, the deciphering of the hieroglyphics by the Arabs, and the usefulness of the pyramids. I understood why I came across this guide. For these 20 minutes of exchange.
In personal development books, thisn’tion of gratitude is often mentioned, but I only now realize the importance of this “exercise”:
Every day, think about the occasions for which you have been grateful (the kindness of a passer-by, the luck that smiles at you…), think about the people who have helped you in the past, express your gratitude (to that person, or just by thinking about it).
And all of a sudden it will get better.