“They say you can only have so much luck in your life. If that’s the case, I think I might have spent all my luck in meeting the best of people.”
Experiencing the world
Naive and fearless are probably the most accurate description of my young self. Having been to 30 countries by 21 and lived on 3 different continents for work and study and life, the takeaway is that I still trust people as easily as the day I ventured out to the world and believe the best in humanity.
Gallivanting the world at a young age, I learnt to be independent. At the same time, received much help wherever I went. The free bag of chestnuts from the vendor in Basel, Switzerland during the cold winter days, the free ride in Austria from a kind-hearted father and his baby, the warm hospitality of feeding me with a 12-course meal from a loving grandma in Pakistan, the guy that took me to my hostel and I was lost in the streets of Shanghai, China…The list goes on.
Even though I have experienced a fair share of trauma along the way, I am still blessed with meeting the people that got me out of the rabbit hole.
Usually being perceived as the “harmless little girl”, people welcome me with warm hospitality. They would invite me to their homes, help me out and even give me little gifts for visiting their country. Just like that, I also never think ill of their intentions.
Everyone you meet is a lesson
I’d like to say I have at least some common sense that prevents me from receiving help from someone shady. Still, I was, and still am, pretty gullible. Believing everything people tell me without a doubt was one of the things my family and friends were concerned about.
Life is a journey, sometimes you learn you really shouldn’t have put your trust in certain people. But most of the time, you see the beauty of humanity, of how someone you have never met could offer so much to you.
Throughout my journey, not only was I grateful for the love and care I received, I learnt to give back. Whenever I see someone in need, I try to offer my help. Friends that travel all the way across the world to see me, I make sure they are spoiled with the same amount of love they gave me when I visited.
Life on life
“Life on life” was a term I initially heard in a self-help group I attended by chance. It means you influence life with life. The impact you put on someone never limits to that one person. That person will then go on to influence someone else with the positivity you have instilled. It’s happening every day. We are a magnet that attracts like-minded people because of the seeds we plant. Show your compassion and kindness to the world, and you will be surrounded by wonderful souls that compliment you. Be a calculating and ruthless person and you will find yourself doubting who to trust every day.
It seems like a simple realisation. Yet it took me a long time to fully comprehend what it means to “influence life with life”.
I always thought I was only travelling for my own pleasure until I was told by a girl in Ethiopia that I inspired her to study abroad alone, until I talked a complete stranger out of her own wedding in Budapest for her happiness, until a taxi driver in Singapore told me he’d want his daughters to be as curious and brave like me…
Maybe I grew up from the girl that only knew to receive to the girl that now knows how to give. I had zero clue on how to motivate people four years ago. But today, I’m always telling people they should follow their heart. I would be happy to see someone living in their dreams. Happiness is contagious and it’s the only infection you’d want to get.
We all have the power to make a difference in our life and other people’s lives. It lies within what we want to do with the power that defines who we are. What kind of impact do you want to leave in other people’s lives?