For those of you that personally know me, you already know that I spent a good four years working as a civilian contractor for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, but for those of you that don’t... now ya know!
Many may think that I was crazy for doing so and to an extent, I probably was a little off kilter, but through it all - it is one experience in my life that I would honestly not have changed for the world. I was taught so many valuable life lessons and experienced some pretty amazing things at an early age in life.
Because of this time and the spinoff travel journeys associated with it, my outlook on life changed forever.
I learned the value of arduous work and how we can truly be happy with next to nothing. I worked very closely with what were called TCN’s (Third Country Nationals). Individuals from places such as Turkey, Nepal, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. They were people that had next to nothing, but were willing to work hard for a fourth of the pay that we were receiving (which was still great money for what they normally make in their country!).
I was blessed to work alongside them every day and they would be so grateful and so happy, EVERY DAY! You would smile at them and their day was made. I have no doubt that they would give you the shirt off their back if it was necessary. It was amazing how simple they were, but how happy they were just to be alive!
It just proves that material goods do not bring us happiness. These third world countries find happiness in the simplicity of life, and I loved it!
Too often I think that we, me included, get so wrapped up in the complex things of living in the United States that we don’t take a look around at what is going on beyond “our world”. We live in a booming economy bubble of "more" that we can’t get out of.
There is so much to life and to our happiness that surrounds us each and every day that we just don’t see. That happiness appears in the simple things that life has to offer. It is found in our relationships, in our simple blessings of just a roof over our heads and the clothes on our back. It is the running water, the food on our table, the ability to work and provide services to others in a relatively “safe” environment.
We take too much for granted and if we just stop a moment and take a look around every day we can be gracious and thankful for the things we already possess and not be so concerned with always looking for thing that we do not have.
Take a look around every day... we can be gracious and thankful for the things we already possess!
If there is one word of advice that I would give to our younger generation, it would be to travel, because the lessons I shared above and on this blog are a direct result of taking the "risk" to travel to so many places.
Go see the world, it is honestly eye opening. I feel so honored and blessed to have been given the opportunity to travel to some pretty spectacular places. I have been to Thailand, Singapore, Peru, Ecuador, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, London, Kuwait, Dubai, Ireland and many more.
I have seen how many other cultures live, what makes them happy and content. I experienced firsthand the traditions, cultures, religions, diet, etc. of each of these places, and through it all I am changed for the better. I have learned to be content with little, not necessarily care what others think, love more deeply, and many other real life lessons that make me who I am.
The moral of today's post? TRAVEL, because it is good for the SOUL!
Let's Love More!