“Desire is the cause of all suffering,” according to Buddhist teachings. Therefore the way to avoid suffering is to not desire anything. Let us put this teaching in the category of “wishful thinking.” Everybody desires something, and my desire on this site is to share with you what I have learned about various ways to become happy as they pertain to travel. In particular I wish to refer to anticipation. The video that accompanies this essay mentions a few tips and techniques (as I try to walk around my neighbourhood while shooting an extended video selfie on the topic without bumping into things). You will see the mantra “anticipation, experience and memories” on the website in posed several places. Here’s what it really means.
There are three main components of any trip you may wish to take. The anticipatory component is the first step. You want to go somewhere but you are forced to wait. Perhaps you don’t know where you want to go, or why, or when. You just know you want to leave behind the boredom of your daily existence and escape. Or you want a vacation, an adventure, an experience. You are frustrated. Then, wherever you go and whatever you do, there is the “experience” component of my travel trinity. Experiences are different for everyone. The third component is memories. Your trip is something that can be relived, repeated or shared with others if you structure your experiences in ways I can teach you.
Anticipation can make you happy or unhappy, depending on circumstances. You may be happy if you know where you are going, what you are going to do there, have the airfare and accommodations paid for, are looking forward gleefully and are in the “just can’t wait to go” frame of mind. Conversely, you may not have the money to go anywhere and don’t know what you want to do there. That’s when you get really frustrated and that leads to being unhappy. If desire is the cause of suffering, lack of funding, inspiration or a reason to go is the cause of frustration. Uncertainty is one part of the equation, and a good reason to travel is another. Let’s talk about both at the same time.
The first problem is a lack of a good reason to go anywhere. The solution is simple. As explained elsewhere on this site, the answer is to focus on people and problems other than yourself. “Do unto others what you would have them to unto do.” You will be a rich person compared to most people you meet on your trips. You obviously have more time and money than they do. (Note: This does not apply to party hounds, casual vacationers, and escape artists who just want to go somewhere in the sun and have fun or relax. There are thousands of other websites online like that for people to peruse. Have fun.) On this site I focus on micro-philanthropy, saving wildlife, meeting and assisting children and schools, and “meaningful adventures” depending on your age and fitness. Having a meaning on your trip, and in your life is general, is a very important category in creating happiness.
A secondary reason for frustration is the lack of funding required to do what you want to do. If you want to assist a school in Swaziland, you need to figure out how to do so. Bring lots of books? Too heavy. Donate a used computer? That’s easy; in the western world people are constantly upgrading their tech equipment and getting donations of computers, cameras and phones is relatively easy. Soccer balls (deflated), school supplies, sports equipment and clothing are lightweight and easy to tote. That brings us to the question of mandatory travel costs such as airfare, food and accommodations. That’s where my own experiences, plus my courses, tutorials and membership options will come in most handy. Here are a few tips.
First of all you need to know in your heart why you are going to your selected destination and what you plan to do there. You’ll need to learn local customs and traditions in advance. In your Anticipation phase you will learn this from my instructions. Do not bring your bikini to Muslim countries! Do not pat children on the head in Thailand! Do not bring marijuana anywhere! Do not try to tip border guards! Don’t show the bottoms of your feet in Nepal. Don’t shake hands in the Orient. Bring toilet paper to remote regions of “developing countries.” And so on.
Secondly, there comes up the important issue of funding. Perhaps you are operating on a “zero budget,” an area in which I am an expert. Translation: You have no money to share at your destination and anyway you have no way of getting anywhere to share anything with anyone. This is not the problem it appears. There are many simple and easy ways to raise money for your adventure. How simple? Well, I will do it with you. All you need is a computer and my team will do the rest. Fundraising is actually easy if you have a true dedication towards your goal. That’s the hard part. If you are not truly sincere then I can’t help you.
If you are hoping that complete strangers will give you money for you to go on a beach vacation, then you are surfing the wrong website. However, as many of my colleagues have proved, people will support you with your cause or goal if you can prove you are legitimate in your history and goals. The word for this is “crowdsourcing” and the concept has been around for many years. These days it has many names and you can find organizations all over the web that will help you, although many crowdsourcing sites are focused on raising money to help start small businesses, or assist people cope with disasters and so on. You don’t need to google them all and learn how it’s done. You can crowdsource by yourself. Rather, I will help you do it, either by yourself or as part of a group. Altruism (its proper name) is very attractive to many people, but it has to be done properly.
If you are asking strangers to fund your trip to a distant country, then you will need some history or references to prove you are legit. The best way to do that is to start your journey right at hope. Whether it’s a prison, school, hospital, clinic, old folks home, saving wildlife, coaching sports you plan to visit on your trip, the place to obtain your experience and skills to prove your sincerity is right at home. As I state elsewhere on this site, all of life is a journey and you don’t need to fly to Botswana to save wildlife when the SPCA in your own home needs volunteers.
My upcoming books and course on “How to change the world in your spare time and have fun doing it” will be available soon. They will teach you everything you need to know to plan a trip. Coming next, I’ll write about the “memories” component of the trilogy. After that, I’ll explain how all three components work together to give you to the tools to create your own adventures, or you can join my group as we work together on a shared project. Meantime, log on to the Get Involved section of this website to learn more. I look forward to hearing from you.