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Traveling is not about me …

I’ve never been to Japan bit I’ve done some reading, seen films and documentaries and everything is about respecting the other person. Making sure it works for the next person. If I make sure it works smoother for the next person, and if that person make sure it works easier for the next person then eventually I will benefit from it. Mindfulness of others they call it. An interesting culture And as any other country Japan has its own problems and difficulties but Mindfulness of others is probably one of the reasons the Japanese police force has nothing to do.

Religion in Japan is dominated by Shinto and by Buddhism.

Thailand is I would say Japan light. People are very polite, generous and tolerant. Probably one of the reasons the country is so popular for tourist to visit. There are a lot of bowing and courtesy involved in many situations. People stand in line, wait for their turn, make sure people get off the train before attempting to enter themselves, strangers will make sure you cross the street safely. In a way very similar to the Japanese way, being mindful of others.

Thailand guarantees religious freedom for all Tai citizens but the main religion practiced is buddhism with a strong undercurrent of Hinduism.

The population in Indonesia is predominantly Muslim and Christian but the vast majority of the population in Bali identify as Hindu. In Bali one finds the same sort of kindness and generosity as in Thailand. Friendly people.

And this is probably one of the reasons why so many visit these places. Appart from beautiful sceneries and nice places to stay it is all about the people. Friendly people. Perhaps it is about the values in their religion, values that are lived by, values of putting others and the community before yourself.

So what happens when people come and visit these nice countries, lovely places, encounter with the locals, being exposed to this kindness and in many ways selfless attitude, where the visitors enjoy the easy life.

Adult men and women walking the streets with a can or bottle of beer in their hands in the middle of the day. Being drunk and behaving disrespectful toward the locals customs and way of living.

Tourists not taking the time to observe how things work in the country they are visiting, barging in, being loud and demanding. When everyone at the metro station are standing in perfect lines on both sides of the doors to the train but the tourists see that as the perfect opportunity to enter first.

When people with the Me and the Ego meet the ones that are brought up with a You and Others.

I like the japanese way of thinking, being mindful of others, being observant of how other people live their lives, learning from what I see and experience.

I believe in that when we focus on what is outside ourselves, when we see others needs and desires, when we acknowledge people around us being important to us, when we give before we take. I believe in that.

Traveling is not about me. It is all about what is around me. That is why I travel. To see places and meet people I wouldn’t have seen or met otherwise. To experience the different normal. To ask questions so that I can understand and learn.

I believe we learn more about ourselves when focusing on others, when we ask questions instead of assuming and when we listen to understand, not to reply.