I had just scribbled down the final destination of our whirlwind four-month journey then we gazed at each other.
Lisa and I were going to be visiting some amazing places, but it involved a lot of travelling. And I mean a lot.
The itinerary read like a book and although it was exciting, it was also a little overwhelming.
We were sat at home in Bermuda, surrounded by a mountain of annotated scraps of paper, maps, travel magazines and a few glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon.
The plan was to quit our jobs in Bermuda, move our stuff back to England, visit family and friends there over Christmas, jet off to Thailand on New Years Eve, spend a month in Chiang Mai, a month in Phuket, a month in Koh Samui, a week in Singapore and then jump on a plane back to the UK.
Oh, and launch the Coconut Fitness business!
Well, we did all of the above and so much more, returning back to the UK at the end of March.
Although we were pretty exhausted, it truly was the trip of a lifetime.
Not because of the beautiful places we visited and the wonderful people we met, but because of the journey we experienced together.
Here are the 7 most important life lessons we learned during our travels:
- You appreciate your real friends, as they want to stay in touch with you, and you’re excited to share your experiences with them.
- You learn so many new skills by embracing local knowledge and different cultures.
- You appreciate the simple things in life, when the seemingly bigger things that normally stress you out, are no longer a worry.
- You learn not to be so materialistic when living out of a suitcase for 16 weeks.
- You broaden your horizons and grow more appreciation for other people.
- You understand how important it is to be an individual and stand out from the crowd, rather than shrinking in to fit with the masses.
- You can exercise literally anywhere and don’t need a gym membership!
The real lesson that we’ve learned though, is that life and happiness really is a journey and not a destination. Now we are back from our travels, it doesn’t mean we’ll stop exploring different countries or slip into obscurity.
This message is not exclusive to us, it applies to everyone. Once we set ourselves a goal in life and achieve it, then we set another goal, and another goal, and another goal…
It doesn’t just stop there.
We need to always be evolving, because if we’re not, then we’re simply dying.
So, set yourself goals and achieve them, but make sure you enjoy the journey along the way as that’s the best part!
I want to share a poem that I’m very fond of, and think the words can benefit us all on our own journey in life, whatever that may be.
The Station By Robert J Hastings
Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision.
We are traveling by train, out the windows,
we drink in the passing scenes of children
waving at a crossing,
cattle grazing on a distant hillside,
row upon row of corn and wheat,
flatlands and valleys,
mountains and rolling hillsides
and city skylines.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination.
On a certain day, we will pull into the station.
Bands will be playing and flags waving.
Once we get there, our dreams will come true
and the pieces of our lives
will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle.
Restlessly we pace the aisles,
damning the minutes – waiting,
waiting, waiting for the station.
“When we reach the station, that will be it!” We cry.
“When I’m 18.”
“When I buy a new 450sl Mercedes Benz!”
“When I put the last kid through college.”
“When I have paid off the mortgage!”
“When I get a promotion.”
“When I reach retirement,
I shall live happily ever after!”
Sooner or later, we realize there is no station,
no one place to arrive.
The true joy of life is the trip.
The station is only a dream.
It constantly outdistances us.
“Relish the moment” is a good motto.
It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad.
It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow.
Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
Regret is reality, after the facts.
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles.
Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream,
go barefoot more often,
swim more rivers,
watch more sunsets,
laugh more, cry less.
Life must be lived as we go along.
The STATION will come soon enough.
Let us help you achieve your goals through our online coaching at Coconut Fitness. Tell us about the goals you’ve achieved recently in the COMMENTS BOX below!