Sunday, 24 January 2016

Things I Learned After Travelling to Africa

Waka Waka. This time for Africa! Our guest author Amy Mia Goldsmith takes the road less travelled and writes about her first hand experience in Africa, which will inspire you to venture into this territory with full enthusiasm

A while back, I travelled to Africa on a vacation, which turned out to be a life changing experience. What I saw and learned there changed the way I perceive life and the world as a whole. It made me re-evaluate my life priorities and the things I cherished the most at that time. After realizing the following truths, I returned from that trip as a happier woman. Read them to see if you agree with me.

1. Less is more

What Ludwig Mies van der Rohe set as a standard in architecture, could be applied to building a better life of each individual. Regardless of how contradicting it may sound, having a less cluttered life means having a more fulfilled life. Some people in Africa do not have many valuable material things, but still they appreciate life more than us, who are so obsessed about living life to the fullest, that we never stop to actually enjoy in it. That is because we have been taught the things ever since we were born. We were told that material possessions are the measure of our success in life. That they will bring us joy. But the pursuit of material things is a never-ending pursuit. We spend our lives working long hours to earn more money to buy more things. And there always something new around the corner that we do not possess, and so the game goes on and on. This chase distracts us from pursuing what really matters in life, and these are experiences.There is so much truth in the words that pursuing less material possessions actually means pursuing happiness.

2. Having a positive attitude makes everything easier and much better

Despite not having much, people in Africa seem happier and more satisfied than we, the Westerners.It’s a simple life philosophy. A positive attitude makes it easier to cope with problems. It helps you avoid worries and concerns. If you adopt optimism as a life philosophy, it will bring you constructive thoughts and motivation to change things and accomplish goals. You will always see the bright side, and expect only good outcomes. Even when you are faced with a failure, it will give you strength not to give up.

3. Patience IS a virtue

This is all the more true when travelling, and in particular when travelling across Africa. If you have not been very patient before, you will master the skill there. We are all trying to keep everything under our control at all times, and when we realize that we cannot, it brings frustration and anger. Accepting that sometimes the world has its own pace, you will learn to relax and go with the flow. Plus, you will learn to cope with whatever life throws at you.

4. Taking risks brings more opportunities than failure

Settling on the status quo is the worst habit that most people have. If you do not make changes in your life, you will never make any progress. Taking risks might get you where you have never dreamed you could get.It was a risk to invest in the unknown, but I still managed to persuade my partners to invest in Africa. Many people still unfortunately see Africa as a continent of corruption, austerity, and civil wars, with slim prospects of business growth. Africa has come a long way from a place of humanitarian disasters and social turmoil, to one of the best investment destinations. Emerging online real estate portals like the successful are a proof of that.The steady economic growth is based on ample mineral resources, vast arable land, and hard-working people.

5. Sometimes the things you dread the most are the ones that make you grow the most

There are two ways you can deal with your fears – either overcome them or make them stand in your way. I have to admit that I felt a bit anxious about my trip to Africa and at some point even thought about cancelling the whole thing off. But now I regret not doing it sooner. Fear limits your full potential, and once you realize that it is irrational and all in your mind, you will live a happier life.
Are you ready to take risks in your life?

About the author

Amy Goldsmith is a literature graduate from Melbourne. Her job allows her to travel a lot, which also happens to be one of her greatest passions. Find out more about her travels on Twitter.

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