I have always had dreams of new lands. Being from a developing country, I grew up seeing everyone settle in a stable, secure life and everybody thinks traveling is for people of wealth. Yet I have always had a burning desire to see new places, experience new things. It just feels like home to me being on the road; it feels like I live on it. I need it in order to be alive. And traveling has changed me in a way I can never articulate. My style of traveling is rather slow. I do not really go around seeing places for a short time then move on to another destination. Instead, I would go to a place and work there. I mostly work on grassroots level and the work that I pursue has allowed me to live and interact closely with local communities and get to know them on a much deeper level compared to normal travelers who come and go.

I have been able to immerse myself into the culture, get to know the locals and communities on a personal level, and see underlying things that tourists can’t see. And the more I travel, the more I become addicted to it. Not only can I develop myself professionally and experience new cultures, but also I am able to discover different things about myself, push my limits and challenge my perspectives and even it makes me question my whole being.

Some of you may have heard of the song Colors of the wind by Vanessa Williams.

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew

Yes, only when we travel will we learn things we never knew we never knew. I often call myself an owl, not only because I am really nocturnal, but also because I am curious. The free spirit of a vagabond always seeks for changes, new experiences, new knowledge. Just as Christopher McCandless once said:
The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.
Adventures will awake you, enlighten you and make you feel alive like never before. There will be moments that took your breath away but those are the ones that shape who you are, teach you to appreciate life and have gratitude for little things in life for you will be able to see meaning and happiness in the simplest things, things that are easily overlooked in a world full of distractions.

So when was the last time you felt alive…?

Photo credit: The traveller by alexcoitus – Creative Common

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Posted by:Hanh Lam

I am a young Vietnamese woman with a passion for development work and social change, a desire to explore the world and a love for storytelling.

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