Being on a journey for the last 4months I learnt a lot. New Zealand was the perfect country for me for that time of my life. Following my gut feeling when I made the decision about what to do and where to go was just perfect. We should follow always our feeling in life and not think about what other might think and what is good for our curriculum and our career.
I enjoyed living for quite a long time in Florida, in Spain and in South America during the last years. Being now for a while in Germany and building a creative business it was time for a timeout. The first years of building a business are not easy and it is A LOT of work, but it’s worth it. I worked often 18hours a day during the last year and often many days in a row. If you don’t try to put up a business and to make your dream come true you never know how it would be. The timeout was perfect to “calm down”, to get some new ideas, to meet some new creative people from all over the world and to be on a creative path. This journey showed me again how great life is. It brought me back to the roots and to the ideas of what life is about. So here are the main things about what traveling and living for a longer time abroad is good for:
1. Choose the BEST THINGS and ideas of every culture and country
I guess every person traveling is a mixture of the countries traveling to. When you travel you see and experience different things. Pick the best one of each country and create your own “way of life”. Choose the laid-back style and the helpfulness of the down-under culture, the mexican music and the improvising of the South-American Countries,the perfectionism and the accuracy of the german culture and the food and the great dishes people cook all over the world. In love for example the idea in Spain about ordering some dished in a restaurant and to share them. It’s so good to eat together, slowly and to eat different things instead of having just one dish which is quite boring after some forks. In New Zealand EVERYBODY has got a small garden which is so cool. The people know how all the fruits and vegetables grow and add delicious herbs from their garden to their dishes. The idea is that there is everywhere some space, even on your tiny balcony for things to grow. People treasure everything they buy and cook and don’t throw many food away as in some other countries. Every tomato and every avocado has got a lot of value and is treated well. This sounds probably very green and a little crazy, but I guess you get the idea about it.
2. You learn to live minimalistic
Talking about valuing everything you buy and get you live different. After living in New Zealand I go nowadays to the shops and buy thinks different. I think about everything I buy twice and think about if I really need it. Whenever I bought something on my journey I knew that I have to carry it wherever I went and it’s the same in life. Whatever you buy and you don’t need, it not worth to buy it. If you need it just once, it’s a good idea to cooperate. Sometimes I needed for example a jacket just for one day to climb a mountain so a friend lend it to me which was way better. People share as well their cars with their friends and neighbors which is great.
On my journey I had a backpack with 30kg and my camera bag and to be honest, this was enough for me. That’s all I needed. I have got in Germany still some unpacked move boxes and I unpacked just one box of them everything else are thing that are not that important for me. I’m happy it is not that much as I gave away before my journey already all the things that I didn’t use the last year. So of course you need the clothing you love. You favorite clothes are all you need over here. Put everything away that you didn’t wear the last year, cause you won’t wear it next year. Put away all the decoration that you don’t need and all the books you read already. Journeys show you what you REALLY need in life. It’s not that much.
3. Less technique and luxury
Living in the first world, we are used to have the latest laptop, the cooles clothes, the best phone, the best car, the biggest house and so on. Of course the latest things are nice to have, but if your car is not the latest one and it’s still working that is all you need. Do you need the best car just to impress your neighbors and is your old one still fine. A nice phone helps you a lot if you need it for your job, but if is is still older an working, that’s fine. I used my old phone as well till last week for some years and it was fine. It was not the latest iphone, but it did it’s job. Don’t think about what you neighbors and your friends think. You don’t have to have the lastest things to impress them. You should work less and enjoy your free time with your friends instead of having an extra job and no time for your friends but the latest technological things. You don’t need as well a salad spinner, a garlic press an electrical juice maker and all the things you things you use just once in a months or year. Make it simple. France and New Zealand are a great example for me. Neighbors cooperate instead of talking about each other. It helps so much. You live next to each other and we are one world, so let’s help each other and don’t think too much about it. Just to it. You don’t have to wear any shoes when walking over or having the perfect make-up. Just go there the way you are. People in New Zealand and France have as well old cars and they drive them as long as they drive. Cars are there to drive around. If there is a small mark, don’t worry too much about it. The car is still great.
4. Communicate with the people around you.
Humans are social people. We are here to talk to each other and to enjoy life. So let’s go for it. Put away your phone, help the old lady next to you in the shop to carry their bag for the way your share on the street, help the mum in the bus with putting the stroller in the bus and help the people around you that are new in town. Look around and see how life is around you. Put away your phone for a while.
The internet connection was often quite bad in New Zealand and Australia but I enjoyed it sometimes. I had my phone sometimes in my bag for the whole day without having a look at it. It was so cool to spent the day with friends or doing some editing without being on the internet. Sometimes I used the internet here and there when I needed it. I made advantage as well quite often of the pomodoro technique. I worked for 25minutes and allowed myself for being 5minutes online until the timer was beeping and telling me to go on with my work and to focus on the important things instead of getting lost and being in the virtual world for too long. I use it now as well quite often when being in the office and I put away my phone when being in the city or in a café to see how cool life is around me. I just use it to call somebody of if I really need to write an email. I love to communicate and to live. To give other people a good feeling and not just being a machine that has to say “hi” and “by” in a bakery. People treasure when you talk to then, when you show real interest. Be interested with who you meet every day. Don’t let the technique lead you. Live like a human being.
5. Introducing the international cooking in your daily life
In New Zealand I learnt as well quite a lot about cooking different. As mentioned earlier, every person has got it’s own vegetables on the balcony or in their garden which is really impressive. People are so proud of each tomato and pepper and value it much more. The taste is as well so much better than in the supermarket. I learnt to go as well to the market to buy less, but fresh fruits and vegetables with a real taste. Some people even don’t know anymore how fresh strawberries and tomatoes from the garden taste like.
I introduces way more herbs in my daily life to cook. Herbs are used as well so often in the homeopathic medicine so why not introducing things like thyme, rosemary, parsil, lavender and some other basic herbs in your kitchen. They are easy to grow and make each dish so much tastier. If you eat for example a lavender, rice desert, you’ll enjoy the taste of the lavender so much it’s put’s a special, amazing flavor in your desert. Try some different things, you ll love it.
When traveling around I had a lot of Mexican food, which I love, Asian food, Italian food, Spanish tapas and many different herbs from all over the world which I use now for cooking. I love to vary each meal and trying different things to avoid eating always the same out of habit. I love the spanish idea of tapas. To cook different things and to share it with the people I enjoy lunch or dinner with. I love to cook whatever is right now in season to enjoy the fresh vegetables. In New Zealand they are having this great idea of “My food bag”. It’s great for people that are working. The company delivers you every week a certain amount of fresh seasonal vegetables and other things you need for cooking with new invented recipes and let you cook every day another easy, fresh meal from all over the world. It supports local farmers and allows you to introduce cooking in your daily life without the need of going to the market.
My journey inspired me of many different ways to eat. I picked the ones that I love to have it in daily life. One thing I learned as well in New Zealand is having “Bananabread” for breakfast or in between. It’s warm toast with a tiny little bit of butter and banana slices on it. It’s really yummy and so funny to eat. It reminds me of being a child and trying to eat funny things and having funny ideas. One audiobook I love as well listening to while I’m working on editing is ,next to my Spotify playlists, the audiobook: “Schatz, meine Hose rutscht”. I found it when looking for some health food audiobook. The title may sound a little funny, but Mr Schweinbenz is talking in a great way about todays food industry and how to change the way you eat. He teaches you great things about food and life.
6. Don’t spent your money on things you don’t use or need.
Being on a journey you don’t need as much money as you think. I’m not the person that needs all the tourist attractions. They are nice to have, but I prefer meeting locals and being in the city to meet some people and to get to known the culture and the new way of life.
I mentioned before that when moving to New Zealand, I got rid of all the things that I didn’t use or wear during the last year. I did many boxes with things to give away for free to homeless and poor people, one box with rubbish, one “maybe” box and one box with things that I need. I got rid of 90% of the things I own. I used the “simplify your life” technique for it. There were so many things I bought a long time ago because I thought they are cute, but I never needed them. Putting all the things away frees your mind so much. Being on the journey with only one luggage I felt that this was all I needed. When going to the shops now, I’m thinking twice about everything I buy. I think as well twice about buying clothing. It’s way better to buy here and there ONE piece that you really love instead of buying many things that you wear just once or twice or never. If it is not 100%percent perfect for you, don’t buy it, because you’ll never wear it again.
Being on a journey and often on a budget you get the feeling of what you really need. You feel that so many things are not important. When I was a student I traveled as well a lot and sometimes, I had just a few dollars in pocket, but who cares, it teaches you to concentrate on buying just the things you really need. We have got great water to drink and we don’t need all the crazy soda drinks full of sugar and artificial colors. Cooking corn and having them with some vegetables and fish and sharing your meals with the friends around you makes us happy. Just concentrate on the basics and you’ll be happy.
7. Be sustainable.
The life in “Down under” taught me to enjoy drinking regular water as it is just human, to eat saisonal food and to use less plastic bags and take-away cups. On Waiheke Island, the island I lived on there was a “landfill” sign on every single rubbish bin. It reminded me of the fact that most rubbish we produce is going to be placed in the earth in a big hole. The fact is just so crazy if you think about it. Each single piece you put into the rubbish is in a “bin bin” under the earth. The fact was so crazy for me. I avoided to use plastic bags when I went shopping and I got myself a “keep cup” to have it as my take-away cup to reuse. I enjoy having water in a reusable bottle to avoid as well all the plastic bottles. I enjoy buying my vegetables and fruits on the market to avoid all the rubbish. I know as well that is it now easy as the packing in the food industry is sometimes crazy with all the double and triple packaging. But if you try to avoid buying things you don’t need you’ll produce way less “landfill rubbish”.
8. Less is more.
Enjoy the small things. You don’t need all the unhealthy snacks in between that you buy at the gas station. Just go for an apple. Concentrate on the real friends, on using your phone less to live in the real world. If your old car is still fine, just use it. Do you really need that new big TV screen. Take your kids and go out for a walk, go on a journey instead of watching all this crazy things on television. Enjoy the REAL life. Go out and go for it. You can watch TV online, if you are interested in a specific movie or a show. Do you really want to spent 217minutes every time on TV. I was so shocked when I googled the statics today. Wow, this is a lot. You can cuddle your partner so many times during that time, you can enjoy the time with your friends, you can relax and do so many other things. Just put your television away. I didn’t have a television now since I moved out of my parents house and I love it.
9. Live the life you love. Don’t worry what others think.
In the German culture, we worry often about what the neighbors think about our new car, about our house and about our life. But it’s our life. It’s so much better to cooperate and to be just easygoing friends. We are there to help each other. Why wasting time with talking about each other and being jealous. Just cooperate. Share your car if your neighbor doesn’t have one and offer the fruits in your garden or some advice of you neighbor needs help. It makes life so much easier. Some people and richer, some are not that rich, but we are all human beings.
10. Journeys help you to think positive
When being on a journey, you see so many things. We can be so happy to live in a rich country to have all the advantages of having a good health system and enough food for everybody. We have got great water and all the things we need in life. Sometimes we forget to treasure the good life we have. We worry about it if we need to wait too long in the supermarket or we worry, if the train is 5minutes late. Don’t worry, just relax. Nothing will happen if the train is 5minutes late. Just connect with the people around you. People will look a little confused during the first moments, as they are not used to communicate with strangers but they’ll love it as they are waiting as well and have to nothing to do.
If you are really stressed, think positive, meditate for a few moments for example when being in a train, breath, concentrate and everything will be alright. We get stressed often way to fast, but it’s not worth it. Calm down and you’ll be fine. If there is some person around you that needs help, offer your help, for you it’s just a small thing, but for the other person it can mean the world. For example if your neighbor is coming home in the same train after work just offer him a ride or if you see a person waiting at a bus station and going the same way as you are, offer them a ride. It’s not a big thing for you, but it might be for the other person. I’m sure there is always enough room in your car. Take care of a work-life balance and enjoy traveling here and there for a timeout. Studies show that changing quite often the place you are at extends your feeling of the time. As kids, we discover every day new things and change places quite often when being outside, so that you feel that time goes by so slowly as a kid. When being an adult we should avoid being all the time in the same place with too much routine as time goes by that fast. Travel and explore new things to broaden your mind.