My teenage nephew was going to South America on some sort of group philanthropic endeavor. The day of his departure, he telephoned me and asked if I had any advice for him. My first rule on advice is to try not to give advice. But I felt like I was on the spot.
So I said something like…when you are on a journey, sometimes things aren’t happening the way you had hoped. Roads may get blocked so that your itinerary doesn’t mean much. Fellow travelers may not be living up to your expectations. Airplanes might not show up even when they are scheduled to depart on a certain day. So try to roll with the punches. Accept and appreciate what is going right. When you sense frustration creeping in, try to focus on the fact that you have traveled far from home to get to this place. And commit to do all you can do to experience the place you’re in and to make that experience memorable.
When put on the spot, that’s what I had to say. What would you have said? Here is what others have said:
“Travel works best when you’re forced to come to terms with the place you’re in.” – Paul Theroux
“If you are going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
“Do not insult the mother alligator until after you have crossed the river.” – Old Haitian Proverb
“A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” — Moslih Eddin Saadi
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu
“Travel is only glamorous in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” — Martin Buber
“He who would travel happily must travel light.” — Antoine de St. Exupery
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