My trip of a lifetime is soon coming to an end. It has been good overall. This post is to present things that I’ve found out about myself and about travelling in general. It’s about the journey of life.
1. Expect the unexpected. whether it’s time schedules or wrong turns or wrong trains, you just have to make the best of it. Look for beauty in adversity.
2. You never know what is just around the bend. It could be a wondrous sight or a rock wall (or tunnel). Expect there to be some good surprises along the way.
3. Always have cash on hand or a debit card. So many remote places don’t take credit cards and money exchange is sometimes just that—an exchange of money—yours for theirs.
4. Trains have more leg room than planes. (The trains also have smellier water closets (toilets). So be prepared.) Norwegian trains (NSB) have komfort zones where there is even more leg room. Whenever you can, opt for the train. There’s so much more to see.
5. Learn a little bit of the language before going. At least learn how to say “I don’t speak (Norwegian)”. Most people in the tourism/restaurant business know English. Even the customers switch from their native language to English to converse with waiters, etc. I have decided that before I go anywhere else, I’ll learn a language that will help me out.
6. Help those who are less fortunate than you or who may be having trouble on their own. So many homeless sit on the corners, needing a helping hand. Most are asking for money to feed their kids. My daughter stopped in a small grocery store and bought some pieces of fruit. We carried the bag around for quite a while. Then I noticed she wasn’t next to me and I turned around to see her offering a piece of fruit to someone on the side of the street. Put a smile on his face as well as hers (and mine). We also befriended a girl from China who had missed her bus the same as us. She didn’t have cash to pay for another bus so I paid for her to at least get to the next stop. She was meeting her friend up the line a bit. We helped her by making sure she was with us when the bus came and my daughter found a train that was going to the place where her friend was that she actually had time to catch. That was a feel-good moment. But it wasn’t done to make us feel good about ourselves. it was because they needed help and we had the resources.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask directions.
8. Put down the electronics and look out the window. I am looking out the window of the train as I type this. (It’s good to not have to hunt and peck.) and I’m seeing small villages, a beautiful rushing river and snow on the mountains. And don’t expect to have pictures of your whole journey. Sometimes things are going too fast and there just isn’t time. Watch for those surprises anyway.
9. Cut others some slack. Accept that they know themselves better than you do. There have been a couple of mornings my daughter and I have gotten into it because she wasn’t moving as fast as I thought was best. We never missed a train or bus. (Besides, she walks fast.)
10. Leave everything nicer than when you got there. Pick up and throw away your trash or, preferably, recycle. If someone else has left some, throw it away too.
11. Get into nature. Wherever you are, try to find some green space. You’ll be amazed at the change you’ll find in yourself. Sit there and soak it up. (In NYC, go to Central Park. London, Hyde Park or St. James or myriads of other green spaces.)
12. Enjoy the journey. Whatever journey you’re on, don’t sweat the small stuff and sit back and relax. Maybe you’re going through a tough/rough spot. As my friend, Sherry would say, “This too shall pass.” Yes, even the good times will pass and life will get back to “normal”.
I’ll be posting pictures when I get home and have time to cull the fuzzy ones.
Until then. Enjoy your journey!