FOTOBLOG: Travel Stories (Day 4)

Previous Travel Stories: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

I used to never quite understand the desire of some people to conquer the highest mountains. It seemed like such a dreadful thing to put oneself through. Where is the fun in that? But then I learned it’s all about perseverance and endurance, and that got me intrigued. I love hiking in the mountains, how tiny one feels and how good it feels to reach the final destination, rewarding yourself with a beer (how very Czech of me). So I set out to test my perseverance and endurance and I ‘conquered’ the highest mountain of the Czech Republic, Sněžka (1603 m). Do I get it now? That’s not important, the point was trying something different out instead of writing it off as “not my thing” without even giving it a shot. Practicing open-mindedness. That is important.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn during my travels was asking for and accepting help. I love helping others, but when it comes to asking for help, I’m the worst. I hate being a burden. Yet sometimes I have no choice, but to swallow my pride and just ask. Like when I lost my job and a place to live at the same time and I was stranded in a foreign country with little cash and no intention to give up and go back home. I had no choice, but to reach out to friends and ask for a couch to crash on and figure this situation out somehow. As it turns out, nobody bit my head off for asking for help and I became a little better at it.

Random encounters with interesting people certainly make for one of the best things about travel. Now, the rule of not talking to strangers may generally be a really good idea, but in some instances it leads to the most memorable conversations and stories. This young lady reminded me of the freedom one feels just having a backpack, instead of an excess of ‘stuff’, and enjoying the adventure of spontaneous travel. I’ve been so focused on building my career the last couple of years that I didn’t take much time off. Even though work makes me happy, I’ve been feeling like there is a piece missing. And that is travel. My goal now is to find a way to combine work and travel, so I won’t have to give up one for the other.

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