I am extremely grateful for everything I have and for the people I have around me. Some things I have earned, some provided from nurture and some that life has deemed fit to pass my way. I do believe you make your own luck somewhat, and that if you’re an optimistic, outward looking person that tries to take their chances when they come to them, it can only help on your journey. What cannot be underestimated though is the large amount of fortune in who passes your way and when, sometimes presenting you with your opportunity to shine. Timing is everything.
In my current trip we arrived at the national park in Paraguay a week after immensely heavy rains had finally subsided, enabling us to see the Cayman and indigenous flamingo. Twenty minutes after we arrived to see the flamingo, they all turned tail and left. Although there is a small amount of planning there in the timing of year to come to Paraguay, the rest is pure luck.
Locking myself out of my car recently, I was extremely fortunate to run into a Brazilian couple that not only stopped to help me (the first car I flagged down didn’t!) and just happened to know how to break into a car. Chances? Slim. Again, just immensely lucky. But would others have broken a small window or tried to wrench the door off its hinges? Or maybe choose to walk the distance to find help and therefore miss the passing vehicle?
Angels and Insects
If there is a guardian angel somewhere, they’ve treated me very well so far. One of the many things that my travel affords me is perspective, and none so much when wandering the streets and seeing how people live compare to my own country of residence, Australia. The health of the people, their age, the pollution in the air, the safety, even the food in the supermarket. In most of the places we’ve been, the best-looking fruit and vegetables was actually in a Mennonite Colony in the middle of Paraguay. That’s in travelling over 15,000kms of South America. Australia by comparison has some of the best climactic conditions, food, health and safety imaginable.
Then there’s the gratitude of my own health, which is a mixture of how you treat your own body, mindset and pure genetics. My uncle for example when clearly in considerable discomfort will say something like ‘I’m fine, it’s only pain’. What an attitude to have! Friends of my own age or younger are going through hell every day to simply do things that I sometimes take for granted, and others could never afford the travel I have enjoyed: that’s not just monetary, but in terms of time or family commitments that pull them in different directions. Then there’s the support network of family, friends and a girlfriend to pick me up when I struggle, and equally to bring me down to earth when the ego decides to ramp up. As I sit in a hotel starring out at the cable cars zooming over La Paz, Bolivia, there’s an incredible amount to be grateful for. I think I’ve just about managed to go through that entire piece without sounding like a pretentious twat, yet if I didn’t please let me know.
Image References: http://gbengaadebayo.com/grateful/
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