The sun is shining onto my face through the window of Air India flight 274, seat 3A. Although the borders of Sri Lanka are vanishing behind, memories of the past 12 days are vivid in my mind. This land of tea plantations, cricket fanatics and hot curries has taught me yet another three valuable lessons I share here with you:
Conquer difference by adapting to it rather than confronting it – or at least, give it your best shot! For example, Sri Lankan people eat with their hands, so I’ve been eating with my hands for the past two weeks. However trivial this example may be, this simple gesture drew a smile on the lips of locals and made me feel that little bit closer to their culture. Likewise, when someone presents different ideas or opinions, I believe it’s important to give them a go, or at least thorough thinking, before dismissing them. Adapting to the environment we’re in (however slightly) is key to understanding it.
2. When there’s a will, there’s a way
As mentioned in my Sri Lanka trip summary, I had been looking for an opportunity to make a small contribution to this country during my whole trip, maybe just a simple way to make someone smile… I hadn’t read about any charitable organisations in my Lonely Planet like I did in other countries of Asia and I hadn’t come across any either. I’m sure there were plenty, but because of how short my trip was, I was rushing through places without the opportunity to explore them at a deeper level. Not being able to help in any way really bugged me. So when I had the idea of giving our ‘towel mission’ (read Trip summary: Sri Lanka to understand what this mission was about) a charitable angle, I was so happy! It goes to show that when something is really important to us, we can make it happen.
3. ‘Wisdom’ is plural
I’m a bit of a philosopher (this shouldn’t come as a surprise by now…). I like to think, ponder, analyse, debate… I had the amazing opportunity to travel with a fantastic girl from Germany during my trip through Sri Lanka and much to my delight, she also liked to spark deep and thoughtful conversations about all life’s matters. Not only was it fun and inspiring, but extremely insightful. Without saying that I’m now wise, I would say that I conquered that little bit more wisdom by bringing our dreamy brains together. Wisdom doesn’t happen on its own…