Stories

Everything We Need To Know We Learned From Travel

 

Travel has opened our eyes and hearts to so much.

 

We have learned a lot about the world around us just by allowing ourselves to travel while being mindful. So we wanted to share some of the valuable lessons we have learned while on the road.

Travel Georgia

Travelling throughout the mountains of Georgia

 

FEAR NOT

Everywhere you turn there is fear mongering.

Signs on the streets, warnings of spreading disease, terror threats, and even unfortunate comments from family members about people of different ethnicities.

India Travel

Cooking samosas in India

For this reason we don’t watch the news, nor do we trust the media.

It may be a scary thing to leave your comfort zone, but to travel to other countries, learn about culture, and meet new people is the best education.

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Every country has unsafe places. Just do your research and travel to the good areas.

“A mind stretched by new experience cannot go back to its old dimensions”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.~

 

PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE

Now this is something I was aware of before our extensive travels as my mother instilled this into me many years ago.

Cambodia Travel

Cody becoming a member of the Cambodian Police

We come from different cultures, we eat different food, we look and sound different, and we have different values.

Travel in India

Celebrating Holi Festival in Jaipur, India

But when it comes down to it, we all desire to be happy and loved. There is good and bad in every single culture without a doubt, and immense kindness as well.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”
~Mark Twain~

 

BE KIND

Everyone is facing their own battle and walking their own path.

You may not understand a person because of their thick accent, but that is no reason to be nasty to them.

Travel in India

I have learned that we have been conditioned to fight for our country, and be extremely proud of things we are not responsible for.

This results in a disconnect from people of different cultures and backgrounds, and sets us up to fight for our own people and nation, when really we should be fighting for our world.

We should all be coming together instead of being torn apart.

Travel in India

Getting ready for his Kathakali performance

I sometimes wonder why it is difficult for people to just smile or say hello. Or why people find it strange when I smile at them.

Perhaps it is easier for me to show kindness because of my upbringing?

So when people are unkind to me, I choose not to take it personally because I have learned that it has nothing to do with me.

Be kind whenever, and as often as you can.

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether it is the garbage man, or the president of the university”
~Albert Einstein~

 

BE GRATEFUL

If you are not grateful for what you have now, what makes you think you will be happy with more?

Cody and I have seen a lot during our travels.

Travel in Egypt

Peace in Cairo

Lepers begging on the streets, rummaging through garbage, and living in shacks that are not fit for anyone.

Women with babies begging for something to eat, the blind shuffling through large crowds doing their best to carry a tune as they shake their tin of change that is barely there.

We have a lot; in fact we have too much.

Travel in Burma

Attending the Tazaungdaing Festival in Myanmar

The variety of what we have to choose from is overwhelming at times. We have too much food, too much clothing, too many electronic devices, and too many people who take it all for granted.

There is a massive imbalance in terms of what some of us own, and what others don’t, so if you have shelter over your head, shoes and clothing to wear, and food to fill your belly three times a day, you have more than over 3 billion people have at this moment.

Practice gratitude.

“What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you were grateful for today”
~unknown~

 

LESS IS MORE

We own very little. No house, no furniture, and no debt; and we have never felt more happy and free.

We are taught to be afraid when we don’t own things, as if owning stuff gives us security.

It is a scary thought to some to purge everything and just live freely, as people tend to hold a lot of self worth in the things they own.

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We live nomadic lives full of adventure, and new experience around every corner. It is thrilling! We no longer feel the need to possess things.

What we do have is shoes and clothing, a good amount of money to support ourselves, some beautiful art work from around the world that we enjoy, and most importantly our good health, sense of adventure, and great friends and family that support and encourage us to keep doing what we’re doing.

Bhutan travel

Giselle in the mountains of Tsirang, Bhutan

We feel free and lighter with less things. That’s not to say that we don’t appreciate a roof over our heads, and nutritious food; it just seems that so many people live in excess and are still unhappy and unfulfilled, always wanting more and never feeling satisfied with what they have.

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We are mindful of what truly makes us happy vs. what we are told by the media, advertising, and society what should make us happy.

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, and compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
~Lao Tzu~

 

DONT EXPLOIT

This beautiful planet we inhabit is not just ours.

In fact I don’t believe we “own” it at all.

We are a part of the universe, but are so distracted by everything going on around us, we have lost that connection.

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We tend to live in our own little bubble, thinking that we are the kings of the castle, and although we do have power, it is important to be cognizant of the other beings who share this fragile planet with us.

We are all connected to this incredible universe, and live under the illusion that we have full control of it all.

As special as humans are, we can be very destructive and disconnected from everything. And we are no more special or important than any other earthling here.

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We are all connected. We must take care of ourselves and each other. We learned a lot about exploitation of people and animals during our travels.

Please do the research before visiting places like the long neck women villages in Thailand, or any elephant camp that claims to be a responsible tourist spot.

We do not support the circus, marine parks, monkey shows, tiger temples, elephant riding, or any other kind of animal captivity or exploitation.

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They all suffer.

They all belong with their families in the wild. The less people who support these kinds of places the more people will begin to open their eyes to the cruelty and not want to participate in it.

We all serve a purpose here, even the minutest creature on this planet deserves respect and their own life and freedom.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
~Martin Luther King~

 

MONEY IS NOT SUCCESS TO EVERYONE

We are made to believe that success comes only in one form. Material.

A good paying career, a nice house, fancy car, and designer clothing.

With all of this you should be satisfied and content, but this is not so.

Travel in Myanmar

If this was the case, people with everything would cease to continue consuming whatever they could get their hands on.

Never once have I heard in school or in society that what’s most important is happiness. Being financially stable most definitely takes a lot of stress off of ones life, but it doesn’t necessarily bring you happiness.

Travel in Laos

For us, success comes from knowing who we are, and helping others. And of course living our own lives exactly as we have chosen.

“There is only one success-to be able to spend your life in your own way”
~Christopher Morley~

 

 

Comments To This Entry.
  1. Josh January 5, 2015 Reply

    Gizzy & Cody! This is my favorite article of the day and probably the most important one you’ve EVER written! When I compare it to all the other senseless info in my news feed, I realize how far from doing the job media really is. If people could just understand 1/2 of what your referencing in this article, the world would be a better place. Love the photo of Gizzy connecting w/ the elephant face to face. Cody you’re a handsome christian model as always. Love you both tons and keep up the good work.

    • Giselle and Cody January 6, 2015 Reply

      Joshy,

      Thank you so much, we really appreciate your kind words. We are waiting patiently for people to wake up, be free, and really live.
      There is an abundance of complaining and not enough gratitude.

      Presently, we are grateful for you 🙂

  2. Beth January 5, 2015 Reply

    Lovely Read!

  3. Angie January 5, 2015 Reply

    What a beautiful post! I could not agree more with some of these sentiments I have learned from life in general, but also in my small amount of travelling.

    • Giselle and Cody January 6, 2015 Reply

      Hey Angie,

      Thanks so much.Traveling certainly opens your eyes for the better doesn’t it? Cheers to adventure and exploration!

  4. Holly January 5, 2015 Reply

    I love you both – your way of thinking, your knowledge , your love of animals and respect for the world. I look up to you two so much and I’m writing this as I sit in my 9-5 job hating it and getting angry at the amount of paper the business wastes (which doesn’t even cross their minds as long as they are making the big bucks)

    I want to live my life the simple way (I’ve never been a shopper and I don’t care for possessions) just don’t know how to start this nomadic life !
    When I come back to Canada I would LOVE to meet you both. If your ever in Melbourne Australia my door is wide open and I’ll have a big fresh vegan dish ready for you.

    Much love
    Holly x

    • Giselle and Cody January 6, 2015 Reply

      Hi Holly,

      Thanks for the Love! We’re sorry to hear that you are hating your 9-5, but happy to hear that you desire to make changes to live a simpler life. We would love to meet you when you’re back in Canada! Please let us know when you will be here.
      And let us know if you have any questions about travel and a nomadic lifestyle.

      And thank you so much for the invite into your home when we make our way to Australia. We will definitely take you up on your offer 🙂

      Happy New Year!

  5. Lucia Pereira January 5, 2015 Reply

    Every word you have written sings to my heart with joy. What an incredible life

    you both have chosen for yourselves. I am so happy that you awake to the truth of life
    on this planet. You are both so balanced and well rounded. I trust that more
    people are inspired and motivated by your words and insight.

    love you guys lots and lots, lucia….many hugs and kisses…oxoxoxoxooxoxoxo

    • Giselle and Cody January 6, 2015 Reply

      Awww you always say the sweetest things. Thanks mom. Your support means a lot to us.

      Love you tons.

  6. Jai January 6, 2015 Reply

    You two are awesome! If there was anyone that could convince people that they are living in a bullshit reality its you two! (I include my self in that reality) trying to break free. Love all the pictures and the stories. Don’t ever stop being who you are, we need more people like you!

    • Giselle and Cody January 6, 2015 Reply

      Hey Jai,

      Hahaha your comment: “If there was anyone that could convince people that they are living in a bullshit reality its you two!” made us laugh…..thanks, we take that as a compliment! Keep on trying to break free my friend! It’s definitely possible!

  7. Matt January 6, 2015 Reply

    Wonderful post and so right on. We have seen and learned so much in the past 3+ months compared to our ‘structured’ education of the past. Treat everyone/everything with respect and give without expectations of receiving anything back and the world will be a better a place. Our most cherished memories so far are from a remote village in Bali (Les). The local people have very little, but are willing to give you the shirt off their back. Simply astonishing.

    Keep on spreading the good word
    Matt and Alana

    • Giselle and Cody January 8, 2015 Reply

      Matt and Alana,

      Thanks so much for commenting. We also find that people who have very little are some of the friendliest and giving people we have encountered. It is very freeing to purge everything and have next to nothing. Travelling can be so eye opening and definitely a great way to learn about others as well as yourself.

      Here’s hoping to many more travels for you two.

  8. Amen!

  9. Jo (The Blonde) January 6, 2015 Reply

    Aww what a lovely post! Here is to more experiences and no fear in 2015!

    • Giselle and Cody January 8, 2015 Reply

      Thanks so much Jo and we hope you have an amazing year of travel in 2015!!

  10. Alex January 6, 2015 Reply

    Beautiful sentiments with some wise words and quotes sprinkled throughout. You two inspire!

    • Giselle and Cody January 8, 2015 Reply

      Awwww, thanks so much Alex.

      What are your plans in 2015? Where are you travelling?

    • Giselle and Cody January 9, 2015 Reply

      Thanks so much Alex, we speak from the heart 🙂

  11. I love how you ended this with that Christopher Morley quote. Puts things in the right perspective for sure. 🙂

    All the best in 2015 you crazy kids!

  12. Lou Sarabadzic January 6, 2015 Reply

    I loved your post, not only because it’s clever and touching, but because it’s filled with kindness. In particular, thank you for encouraging a non-exploitative way of travel; it’s all the more needed now that distances have been redefined by low-budget airlines and holiday on a global-scale…
    Wishing you both all the best.

    • Giselle and Cody January 9, 2015 Reply

      Hi Lou,

      Thanks for writing. We feel it is very important to be mindful of our footsteps around the world, as well as in our own backyard. Everything we do affects others, and we can choose to make a negative, or positive impact.

  13. Captain and Clark January 6, 2015 Reply

    We love your lessons learned and how you two live your lives. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and encouragement!

  14. Diana Edelman January 7, 2015 Reply

    I LOVE THIS. ALL of it. Such true words.

  15. Kristin Addis January 7, 2015 Reply

    Agree so much. Traveling is the world’s best teacher.

  16. Bryony Holland January 8, 2015 Reply

    Crumbs alive! This post is so beautiful. So filled with warmth and atmosphere. You sum up life on the road perfectly. I gave all of my belongings away to charity, quit my job and started to live nomadically 18 months ago. I’m richer than I’ve ever been…. although my bank balance would tell you a different story. I’m definitely happier, that’s for sure. It’s so true. What you read about the world and what you experience in the world are two totally different things. Thank you so much for writing this! Bryony xx

    • Giselle and Cody January 9, 2015 Reply

      Hey Bryony,

      Thank you so much. It’s amazing what you can learn when you let go. Freedom really does come when you purge the things that are weighing you down. It just takes a little bit of courage in the beginning, and then once you’re used to it, it’s a piece of cake!

  17. Laura January 8, 2015 Reply

    Great post. We’ve definitely become overwhelmed by our stuff and the trappings of “success” and are making changes to simplify life a bit. Looking forward to the freedom.

  18. Chantal Cleroux January 8, 2015 Reply

    The best education one can have is a Phd in life. Wish you both more grownth and expansion in your travel.

    From a friend traveller!
    CC

    • Giselle and Cody January 9, 2015 Reply

      Thank you so Chantal and we couldn’t agree with you more.
      Hope you have an amazing 2015!!

  19. Janet Cudia January 8, 2015 Reply

    Beautiful and full of wisdom.

    I wish you both all the best this year 2015. May you have many more travels and opportunities and experiences to share your with us 😀

    • Giselle and Cody January 9, 2015 Reply

      Thank you so much Janet for your kind comment.

      We are currently in Japan travelling for two weeks and then heading to Thailand for a month. So far 2015 has been pretty good 🙂
      Here’s hoping to a great and rewarding 2015 for yourself 🙂

  20. Juno January 9, 2015 Reply

    Be grateful is certainly one of the things I’ve learned from traveling. Sometimes we overlook how much we have, and how fortunate we are. Great post!

  21. Rose Perri January 9, 2015 Reply

    Hi Giselle and Cody,

    Thanks for sharing the awesome pictures and warm touching stories. It is so true, we have too much. We should stop and reflect all that we have and be grateful as there are so many people that have so little. We all should help in what every way we can.

    All the best for 2015 and all your travelling ahead of you.
    Great post, Rose.

    • Giselle and Cody January 17, 2015 Reply

      Rose, Thanks so much for commenting on our post.

      We need to open our hearts and give more. If we all helped out this planet would be a beautiful and loving place.

      Hope you have a wonderful 2015!!!

  22. Camels & Chocolate January 10, 2015 Reply

    A beautiful look at humanity! Thanks for the uplifting words today =)

  23. Paul January 10, 2015 Reply

    So glad to have met you guys in Georgia! This article is fantastic and resonates with me on such a deep and personal level. You really have something special here and I often come to your blog for inspiration. I just saw that you’re currently in Japan, which is number one on my list of places to travel! I really hope you both enjoy it and I’m looking forward to following your adventure there. Happy New Year to both of you and I hope our paths cross again sometime in the future!

    • Giselle and Cody January 17, 2015 Reply

      Paul, it was great to meet you during our brief trip in Armenia. We are currently writing this from Kyoto, Japan. If this is the number one place on your list then you need to make it happen!! Japan is such a beautiful, crazy, wonderful place!! We are having an incredible time and we will be posting updates soon. Thank you so much for your kind words. It really means a lot to us and we appreciate you taking the time to come to our blog. Hopefully we will meet up again sometime in this huge planet. Take care!!!

  24. Dion March 4, 2015 Reply

    It’s so refreshing seeing young people living their life differently.
    Society places so much worth and value on your title. “What do you do?” Is such an important part of today’s conversation. I wish more people would break away from the norm and do what you guys are doing. Love and support.

  25. Wow – guys this post is absolute magic. Everything you have written resonates with me. It’s all so true and so beautiful. We are all one, we are all connected and we all share this incredible world we call home. Money is absolutely not the be all and end all – ‘success’ should always be based on goodness & happiness.

    Can’t wait to read more of your wonderful words. 🙂

    Gabby

    • Giselle and Cody June 30, 2015 Reply

      Hey Gabby, thanks so much for taking the time to read it. We are always happy to connect with likeminded people and hope that we can inspire those on that path as well. There is more than one way to live your life, and it is important that people are aware of that.

  26. Barış January 15, 2016 Reply

    You guys are great! Lovely post. Cheers from Istanbul!

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