Elaine Weiss

13 Jul 2013

“…you can only plan so much, the rest is about taking the leap!!! We all make mistakes along the way, and they actually make great memories.”

Hello, my name is Elaine! I’m 29 years old from Malaysia/Australia and I am currently traveling in Around the World (currently Canada)! If you would like to get in contact with me, submit a message here and Erica will relay it to me. I hope you enjoy reading some of what I’ve learned while on my journey!

What stage of life are you in?

Traveling with your Partner

Why embark on your journey?

to experience a new culture, to check out new scenery

What are some of your goals while traveling?

I enjoy learning how people think and live in different parts of the world. It broadens my perspective, and helps me realize that there is no “one right way” of doing things and there are actually creative ways to doing life 🙂

What were some of your fears about traveling before you left?

missing loved ones, not being able to find a job (if on a work visa), exposure to possible dangers (sickness, disease, violence, etc), fear of the unknown

How do you feel you have faced those fears during your trip?

Being in a new place, I get thrown into situations where I do not know how the outcome would be (e.g. Am I going to be charged extra for luggage? Do I have to catch a bus to get there? Are these people I’m working/staying with trustworthy?), and sometimes things do not go as planned. When we actually face the unknowns and go through it… it really isn’t all that bad. Sure, there are times where I feel helpless, but in those times, I just focus on solutions and making the best out of the situation. Well, that’s just life, isn’t it!?

Have you dreams of what you might do with your live changed as a result of traveling?

I love change of scenery and culture, cos those things keep me on my toes and learning! Sometimes I get too comfortable when I’m in my comfort zone, and become kinda uninspired and just go through the motions (i.e. wasting my life). Travelling reminds me that anything is possible and “where there is a will, there is a way” and so I become more aware & connected to my dreams and plan to reach out to get them!!

What are 3 significant things you have learned while being on your adventure?

1. Watching pigs wallow in mud in rural Bali reminded me of how the simple things in life can make one VERY happy.

2. Observing how people do life in Asia makes me question my own western values–are we truly happy and free in the West, or do we have a very narrow outlook of what life is about? Life seems less compartmentalised, less orderly and more “organic” in Asia. People enjoy being with people, and do things outside our “code of behaviour & etiquette” (without being drunk) and have a jolly great time!!!

3. There is no “normal” culture. We can learn from each other & grow in character, if we choose to do so. Travelling through Western Europe, it’s easy to see how every region is so different, and you also learn of how different people groups resent one another’s way of life. Being in Luxembourg inspires me to embrace different cultures and learn different languages, for life can be so much richer when one does that!

What advice could you give others who are considering taking some time off to explore themselves and the world?

Spend lots of time researching on the places you’re visiting, so you really get to know the places (and would probably end up saving plenty of money too!). If you’re going to a place where people speak a different language, spend some time learning the language too (at least the basics!), it just makes travelling more fun when you can communicate with the people. If money is a source of worry, consider working while travelling. Having said that, you can only plan so much, the rest is about taking the leap!!! We all make mistakes along the way, and they actually make great memories 😉

Were there any quotes that motivated you along the way?

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” – Helen Keller