It’s 8pm on my last night in Ubud, Bali and I couldn’t have enjoyed my time more.
Here are a few things I’m thinking, off the top of my head that I wanted to share with you:
#1: When we travel, we carry our lineage in our luggage.
My grandmother always wanted to travel the world. She dreamt of going to Paris one day. I think the few credits of French she took in college had a grip on her heart.
But she never even got a passport, and after getting stuck in decades of the grind, then getting sick, she never had a chance to leave the country. She died only imagining the places she wanted to see most.
That could make me really sad if I think about it.
Or I could be proud that even though she never got to leave, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world. This year alone, I’ll have been to four continents — from Spain, to Morocco, to Greece, now in Bali, and tomorrow I’m off to Australia.
I look at the beauty of the world, and having spent so much time with her, I know exactly how she’d react to some of the incredible places I’m seeing. I can imagine her laugh and her smile. I can even imagine the jokes she’d make.
Especially the dirty ones 😉
Am I not made of her same flesh, bone and blood? Does she not travel with me, wherever I go?
Dana K. Wade (“Attorney at Law”) is quite literally inside me.
I’m not sad. I miss her immensely, but I’m grateful that she lives on through me.
Who lives on through you?
Wherever you go, your family goes, too.
#2: Personal development is the best gift you can give other people.
Nobody will thank you for improving yourself.
Nobody will ever say to you, “Wow, Susan. Thanks for taking the last 5 years to become more emotionally balanced and mature. I love how you treat me with generosity and respect, even when I don’t always give you the same consideration.”
But it’s true.
The time you spend working on yourself isn’t just for you. In fact, it’s mostly for other people.
When you work on yourself and learn to become a better person, that’s a gift that scales because your positive growth affects literally everybody you come in contact with.
Even if they never know it or give you praise.
#3: Kindness is currency.
One thing that has stood out most to me about Balinese culture is how kind everybody is.
The genuine smiles. The laughter. The courtesy and generosity of everybody here is astounding.
Coming from the chaotic, vain culture of Los Angeles, I have to admit, I found myself having trouble being completely open to it. It’s like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I wonder when they’re going to try and get something from me or steal from me?
I bet he’s trying to sell me, scheme me, take advantage of me, overcharge me or mislead me.
Yesterday, I took a taxi ride with a generous man who was also a wood sculptor.
As a way of thanking Sara and I for riding with him, he returned to our hotel later that night with a beautifully carved wooden mask. It was a simple token of thanks and friendship.
He didn’t ask for anything in return. He didn’t try to “upsell” me. He just gave it with a smile and left.
I could feel my chest tighten at the notion of accepting it.
Why was he being so nice?
Then, I thought about how absurd my response was.
Many of us have been conditioned to reject kindness because we are scared of being hurt.
How often are we closed to kindness, love or affection from others? How much do we suffer because of it?
Far too often, my by count.
We can’t expect to develop into individuals who can give kindness to others if we can’t first accept it openly.
This content was originally published here.