In September last year I jumped on a plane in Frankfurt, a one way ticket to Bangkok in my pocket and the initial Plan to travel through Asia for a good three month and head to Australia straight thereafter. Since then a bit more than 5 month have passed and I am still travelling through Asia exploring all the beautiful places this part of the World has to offer and getting to know all the different but super interesting cultures over here.
The other day, after realizing how long I have been backpacking through Asia, I started to think about if and how my way of travelling has changed over the course of this trip. And oh man let me tell you it changed a shit load. When I first arrived in Bangkok, I was the typical uber eager backpacker that wanted to see all the sights and places that I read about in travel guides and on the internet or saw on the Instagram feed of one of those well-known travel blogger (and obviously there is absolutely nothing wrong with this). In my opinion I basically wanted to travel for all the wrong reasons back then: to collect stamps in my passport, snap some breathtaking pictures for Instagram or simply cross “places to see” off my bucket list.
However, it did not take too long before I realized that something was terribly wrong with this approach. I was at those super stunning places doing all of these incredible things but for some strange reason it just did not felt very fulfilling to me (don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that as this is different for everyone but it just wasn’t for me).
This made me think about what really makes a trip magical and unforgettable. No matter in how many ways I looked at my past adventures I always came to the same conclusion: It is the faces you see, smiles you receive, souls you touch and hearts you feel, i.e. the people you meet along the way that really make the difference.
You could be at the most stunning place on this beautiful earth and you would probably still enjoy it but in all honesty in my view nothing compares to having a beautiful soul by your side that you can share this amazing experience or moment with. I think we have all been there.
Those situations or moments that you were touched or amazed by but all you could think about was how much more beautiful this moment would be if you could simply share it with another person by your side?! Isn’t it always the people that you are surrounded by that make the even the most special moments or places that extra bit special and unique?
After the initial craziness of visiting places or countries simply for the sake of it, I am nowadays way more interested in getting to know the people of the individual countries that I visit and the fellow Globetrotters that I meet along the journey. I mean please don’t get me wrong I still love to see the all those well-known sights and stunning landscapes of a country.
But what really lights up my travel heart and makes each and every single adventure beautifully unique is meeting the local people, experiencing their culture and sharing those experiences with friends and fellow travel Junkies.
Nothing compares to the heartfelt smiles of the people that welcome you into their homes in the remote mountain villages of Myanmar or the incredible and unbelievable stories the people of Cambodia tell you about their past and the amazing hospitality and friendliness that the beautiful people of the Philippines show you, a complete stranger, just to give you an authentic taste of their culture and country.
And on the other hand there are those fellow Globetrotters you meet along the way, that you share those unique encounters and moments with.
Over the last couple of month I have been fortunate enough to meet so many beautiful people from all over the world, some of which I am lucky enough to consider really close friends by now and who I would not have met if I didn’t Start this journey.
I met those incredible people in the waiting areas of airports, tiny little cafes on the beach in Thailand, out on the streets of Myanmar, in supermarkets, at Starbucks or simply while staying in Hostels all over Asia. I just love to listen to everyones individual travelstory, learn more about their lives, the rationale behind their journey, their core values and beliefs and their perspective on life.
Thinking about the days and nights spent laughing my butt off with the squad, learning about and discussing business ideas with the nomads and growing as a person with the support of my spirit junkies is what makes me so damn grateful and this trip a freaking incredible once in a lifetime experience.
I would like to take the chance and thank each and every amazing beautiful soul that I have been fortunate enough to meet so far. You guys are the reason why this trip is so damn amazing.