Sometimes, we need to take chances with life and with business. Sometimes, both happen together.
When finding an opportunity to develop the new Lantinga Vita collection in Thailand, it only seemed natural to go on a new adventure. This meant big changes for the company, and leaving with a lot of uncertainty. With my “just go for it” attitude, I got my finances together and packed my bags, hoping for the best. With any type of travel, it’s always important to keep an open mind, and enjoy the journey, whatever it may bring.
Feel the joy of letting go
The first challenge was packing my bags. Knowing I would be going for business meetings, exploring the big city of Bangkok, diving in the southern islands, and exploring coastal towns, I had to be ready for everything, and fit it all in a backpack. When you backpack, you realize how little you truly need. The extras, the things that aren't essential to your health and happiness, simply weigh you down. Sometimes we need to let go of our things to remind ourselves of the essentials in life.
So what made the cut? A large backpack containing a quick dry towel, cosmetics and medication for every potential situation, favorite pants and shorts, a few tank tops, quick dry sportswear, two bathing suits, running shoes, nice flats for meetings, some heels for those nights out and my favorite flip flops. In my Tempus bag, I had my fabric samples, measuring tape, laptop, agenda, sunglasses, wallet, phone and passport. I was ready for takeoff.
Make new connections
The first reason to go to Thailand, was to explore the potential of working with a new manufacturing company. After my first meeting, I knew I was in the right place. You simply never know until you try. Thai people are some of the most positive and warm individuals I have ever met. Whether it be a new manufacturing company, or the woman on the street making the best Pad Thai, there’s always a smile and sense of mutual respect.
The best part about travelling, especially backpacking, is the people you meet. You can quickly find yourself speaking three languages, with people from all continents. You can also find yourself on the other side of the globe, meeting someone who lives just down the street from you back at home. Widen your circle, create authentic relationships, and break your biases. Travelling brings people together, whether it's your sibling, a friend, or complete strangers. It’s not about perfection, it’s about connection.
Immerse yourself in a new world and stay curious. Children have an amazing sense of curiosity and discovery, and we seem to lose that as we get older and get set in our routines. Sometimes you just need to get out of your comfort zone, and immerse yourself in a new world.
Four years ago I went to Australia to learn to dive. Since then I’ve been hooked. One of the things I love most about diving, is going down into the water, where time seems to stop. All that matters is making bubbles and being mesmerized by a whole new world. Watching a manta ray come curiously towards you, seeing black tip sharks and understanding that they are very shy animals, spotting a tiny see horse curled up in his coral bed, and even hearing a whale sing without being able to see it, simply can’t be put into words. This is their world, and we are just visitors.
Find a new direction
You don’t need to be lost or feel that you need to get away from it all, to justify travelling over 3 continents. Sometimes you just need to unplug to gain perspective and reconnect. Sometimes you just need a new connection, whether it’s personal or professional. New conversations, new environments, and new situations can help you refocus your energy. It’s doesn’t mean you’re lost, it simply means we need to adjust your direction. What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create.
Don’t worry, be happy
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live in the present moment. Happiness is not a destination, it’s about enjoying the journey every step of the way. It does not depend on what you have or who you are, it solely relies on what you think.
Travelling is an opportunity to seek new opportunities, without a routine dictating where you should be, or how you should act. It's an opportunity to test new waters, learn about yourself, and live in the moment. Take these experiences, and let them help you grow and expand your horizons everyday. Routine is not a bad thing, but to grow, we need to break it once in a while. Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. Explore. Dream. Discover.