A Thousand Thank-You's!!
Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
22Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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I headed to the airport and once I checked in and through security I headed to the gate to change my seat to an exit row. Throughout the past three months I was on twenty-eight flights and each time I was able to be moved to an exit row
There was one area in the airport where people where trying to get through where they could get there boarding passes. Cinthya went up to them and tried to go though but they wouldn't let her and if they wouldn't let her then I thought there is no way they will let anyone through. Then I saw them turn away about ten people it was like a velvet rope and the bouncer wouldn't let anyone into this exclusive club. I walked up, nodded my head and he brought the rope down and let me in like I was the President. It was unreal, then I made my way to wait in the ticket line and this American family came behind me and I asked them how they got in and they said "I told them your my brother". So after knowing that I was now able to get people in I went back and got Cinthya and her father through, we all made the flight, which was completely empty since, no one else could check in. My trip started with my friend Cynthia who lives in Canada introducing me to Clara in Hong Kong and my trip ended with me walking off the plane and though customs with a Cinthya from Peru. My parents were waiting with big signs on the other side of immigration
There is no way I could ever properly thank the people who helped me and who I met along the way. I was able to travel around the world by myself but was never alone. It's hard to imagine meeting so many life changing people along the way and when I sit back and think about it, it’s almost overwhelming. The amazing thing is that it’s easy to meet other travelers but most of these new friends lived in each country so that added to the uniqueness of my experience. They knew where to eat the best street foods and could take me to places that most tourists don't get to see and experience. All of them went way out of their way for me a stranger and are the true definition of kindness. The cities, beaches, wonders of the world were all great but the people along the way are what I will remember most and cherish from this experience. The people are what matter. They are the worlds greatest teachers and all do it with humility and without even knowing there teaching. Also a special thank you to my parents who when I called four months ago and told them I was willing to quit my job to travel around the world alone not knowing where I would go, they supported me
I could not imagine meeting over forty people along they way and I owe the world a thousand favors because of these amazing people: Hong Kong-Clara, Melody; Singapore-Andrea, Tilden, Mike; Thailand-Chanita, Joy; Australia-Nerissa, Tina, Violia, Ivan; New Zealand-Carol; Indonesia-Dek; India-Rajinder, Harminder; U.A.E-Devy; Jordan-Charlie; South Africa-Khosi; France-Dave, Lael; Italy-The Giuliani's; Peru-Yudy, Marisol, Cinthya.
There were so many other people along the way from the girl I met who recently had tea with Nelson Mandela, to the former child solider sold into slavery who when he was released opened an orphanage and forgave those who sold him, the American business man in India who always looked up to his older brother who never had a job and lived off the land, the hotel owner that told me if I ever come to Nigeria he will have a military escort waiting for me and the Sri Lankian women who works for the UN and was on her way to live in Afghanistan for the second time
Along the way I read some incredible books, Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling the two weeks leading up to the trip, The Teaching of Buddha in Southeast Asia, The Bhagavad Gita in India, The Thoughtful Guide to Islam in the Middle East, Nelson Mandela:A Long Walk To Freedom in Africa and The Message of the Apus in South America along with The Alchemist, The Power of Now, A New Earth and The Power of Intention. They are without a doubt some of the most amazing books that helped to guide me through an indescribable journey.
People have asked me how much the trip cost and I don't know because I stopped keeping track in the second week, whatever it cost you can double it or triple it because it was the definition of priceless. I stayed in some five star hotels and some of the dirtiest hostels in the world and both were perfect. I can't tell you who painted what paintings or when the temples were built or why religions have rituals or where the capital building or what was in the food
Before this journey I left a job that I no longer enjoyed doing and when I returned home I found that that job was no longer there for me. I don't know how many people would be excited to not have a job but after going through this life-changing journey I feel like I can now do anything and go anywhere. At the risk of sounding to cliché if I ever feel like I can't do something I will remember the kindness of Chanita, the inner peace of Rajinder, the determination of Khosi, the harmony of Yudy and the enthusiasm of Luciano. Truly the world’s greatest teachers where all things are possible. Along the way someone asked me "If you could do anything regardless of money or education what would you do?" I didn't hesitate and said "Exactly this". I can still answer that question with the same way today and that is what this journey is and was all about.
A few things which I learned along the way were if you have an intuition follow it and then let the signs guide you because when you have the courage to follow your inner knowing doors will open up that don't otherwise exist. Bad things cannot happen even in a perceived setback there is an amazing opportunity. Nothing and no one can complete you; you’re responsible for your own happiness, which can only be found within. Everything is easy and the world is a reflection of what you think and feel about yourself. Be thankful, in awe, ask, believe, feel, and receive. Nothing is a coincidence. And finally this is not the beginning, middle or end it’s the moment and that is all it will ever be.
"The unexpected connections we make might not last, yet stay with us forever."-Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation
"Thank You"-Eric Giuliani (firstname.lastname@example.org)