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Profound Life-Lessons Revealed Across Countries

Life's Teaching Revealed with My Pivotal 'Top 3 Lessons' Unearthed in Greece

By Crystal A. WolfePublished 2 months ago 6 min read
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Image captured by the author, Crystal A. Wolfe, on an airplane

I've had the opportunity to explore 11 countries (and counting), gaining valuable lessons with each journey. Among my cherished experiences, the following stand out as the most memorable lessons from my adventures abroad.

7. Italy: La Dolce Vita

Image of the author on the Amalfi Coast, Italy, captured by Crystal A. Wolfe

    This was a life lesson that resonated deeply with me, so much so that I'm contemplating making it a permanent part of my journey with my first tattoo: La Dolce Vita. Italy holds a special place in my heart, imprinting upon me the significance of savoring life. My time in Italy was a revelation, making me realize that the essence of existence lies not in living to work, but in working to live.

    Since embracing this new perspective, I've made a solemn vow to lead my best life and not sacrifice my well-being for a paycheck. Why stress over it? Work will persist, but the moments of life are finite. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and the people we cherish may not always be with us. Thus, I've committed to seizing the sweetness of every moment and making the most out of life.

6. Ireland: You Can Trust Strangers

Image of the author, Crystal A. Wolfe, at the Blarney Stone

Embarking on my inaugural solo trip abroad, Ireland proved to be a transformative experience that dissolved any initial reservations I had. This journey shattered significant barriers in my mindset, reassuring me about the safety of solo travel and instilling a newfound trust in both strangers and, crucially, in myself.

In the welcoming embrace of Ireland, I discovered a profound sense of security, fostering an environment where my apprehensions dissolved. The warmth and kindness exuded by everyone I encountered, coupled with their delightful sense of humor, created a space where trust became second nature. Ireland not only reassured me about the inherent goodness of people but also highlighted the prevalence of kindness around every corner.

This unique adventure not only renewed my faith in others but also made me more comfortable engaging with strangers. Ireland became more than just a destination; it became a sanctuary that allowed me to navigate the world with confidence, openness, and an unwavering belief in the genuine goodness of humanity.

5. Iceland: Maximize Your Adventures Within Your Budget.

Image of the author, Crystal A. Walker, with her Iceland Dog Sledding Team

Iceland holds a special place in my heart as the first country I ever had the privilege to explore. I was fortunate enough to call it "home" for three years, courtesy of my husband's military assignment. Despite being young and navigating the early stages of marriage while building our future, we made a conscious effort to embrace Icelandic experiences whenever our budget allowed.

As our time in Iceland came to an end, the financial constraints prevented us from indulging in more adventures, leaving me with a sense of regret. However, reflecting on that journey back to the United States, I realized the profound gratitude I felt for the experiences we did manage to savor. It became a pivotal lesson that has since shaped every adventure I embark on – save your money and travel within your means.

4. Bermuda: Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Embarking on a spontaneous trip to Bermuda was a true departure from my usual meticulous planning – a daring move for someone known to be a "hyper-organizer." If planners needed a planner, I'd be the go-to girl.

The challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone didn't stop with the decision to go; it continued the moment we docked at the pier. For the first time, we set off on an adventure with minimal plans. Upon reaching Hamilton, we impulsively opted to rent a scooter for a spontaneous island tour. Adding to the thrill, I discovered that driving in Bermuda meant navigating on the left side of the road – my initial experience with such a daring twist.

This day marked a turning point for me, a lesson in embracing the spontaneity of life and seizing the day. It was a revelation that living your best life often requires venturing beyond the familiar, even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone. And let me tell you, it's absolutely worth it.

3. Greece: Appreciate the Little Things

Image of the author, captured by the author - Crystal A. Wolfe - while at the Parthenon

I'm not typically drawn to clichés, but if you've ever heard the advice to "appreciate the little things," I can attest that there's truth in it. During my time in Greece, this wisdom manifested in the form of showing affection to numerous stray animals, primarily cats, that crossed my path. While marveling at the Parthenon and absorbing the moment, a cat approached me. It was one of the most affectionate cats I've ever met and she made me stop and take in the moment with her.

From that point onward, at every destination, I found myself encountering cats and ensuring they received some love. The fusion of my passion for travel and love for animals intensified the memories created at each location. It became evident that by pausing to appreciate the little things, one can derive even greater appreciation for the grander aspects of life. Regardless of your location, I recommend taking a moment to pause and invest in creating lasting memories.

2. Greece: There's Always Time for a Coffee...and Ouzo

Image captured by the author. Happy face vector image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

If you're familiar with me, you know I'm always on the move. Even when I aim to "take it easy" on a vacation, I find myself compelled to pack in as much as possible, seizing every opportunity to create lasting memories. I envision reaching the age of at least 106, looking back on a life filled with awe-inspiring experiences. Yet, it wasn't until I traveled to Greece with my best friend that I learned the value of slowing down.

With her guidance and the insights of our local friends, I came to understand the importance of hitting the brakes now and then. They taught me that it's alright to take things one step at a time, embracing each moment as it comes. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed, so finding joy in the present is essential.

After all, what's the point of rushing through experiences if it means missing out on their true essence? So, let's chill out, savor a coffee, and take a moment to breathe in the richness of life.

1. Greece: Adapt and Life Can Still Be Fun

Image of the author, Crystal A. Wolfe in Meteora, Greece.

Every journey brings its share of unexpected twists, and our trip to Greece was no exception. Right from the start, we had to embrace the art of adaptation. The first challenge arose as we coordinated our flights from different states – I was flying from Florida, while my bestie was traveling from Virginia, narrowly making her flight!

Despite the rocky start, we pressed on to one of our most anticipated destinations: Meteora. Naturally, the weather chose that day to drench us in rain and shroud the landscape in thick fog. Disappointed, we explored this UNESCO site under less-than-ideal conditions.

As if that weren't enough, my bestie encountered an ear infection, leading us to become well acquainted with pharmacists throughout Greece. Sadly, the infection persisted even after our return home to the United States.

Yet, amidst these challenges, we found moments of laughter and camaraderie. We learned to roll with the punches, making the most of each situation. These hurdles, while frustrating at times, added unexpected layers to our adventure, reminding us that even amidst adversity, there's always room for fun and laughter.

What Does the Future Hold?

Visiting these destinations was beyond my wildest dreams. With each new stamp in my passport, I've found myself enriched with newfound wisdom. If just a few countries have had this profound impact on me, I eagerly anticipate the life lessons awaiting in future destinations.

Embrace every opportunity to explore, for each journey holds the potential to enrich your life in ways you never imagined. Live your best life, one location at a time.

Add to the Karma Jar to provide some 'Good Vibes.' Hearts ❤️ and tips ️💸 are always welcome and much appreciated as they help support my writing and contribute to the next adventure I can share with you! 🙏

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About the Creator

Crystal A. Wolfe

Blogger | Creative Writer | Traveler | Full-Time RVer

You can find all of my articles on my blog as well on Medium where I'm most active in Humor, Lifestyle, and Travel. I've self-published one fantasy fiction with the sequel in the works.

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  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    When we travel and move out of our comfort zone, we are open to life lessons!!! Love your wander story & life lessons!!!💕♥️♥️

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