Of all the things that I learned through being part of this project, the thing that has given me the most happiness is all the connections made during that time.
Not just with the gang of co-workers here, but with this whole world of people that travel (or receive travelers) in a collaborative way.
I was able to see myself in these people and find a very strong connection of values. I could identify in them the same desire to create the world that I wanted to see happen.
If we have one thing in common, it’s precisely this way of thinking and leading our lives, of travel, collaboration and learning. The thing I came to call “the way to be Worldpackers”.
I’m not going to talk here about the age group of those who are worldpackers, where they’re from, or what their travel preferences are. But rather their values, ideas and why they see travel not only as a lifestyle, but also as a tool for transformation.
This list of values is full of the things I see that unite this community and that, despite the uniqueness of each, define a global tribe of people who believe that travel is a universal right.
1. Traveling just to create memories doesn’t make sense anymore
Travel has become synonymous with connection. With other people and cultures, similarities and differences. Travel is a form of expression. Of a different way of living, of another possible path. Of an inherent freedom in the very nature of being human.
Travel doesn’t feed the ego. It’s not the Instagram photo when saying goodbye, but handshake. The inviting embrace that comes with the “when you come to my city, my doors will be open to you.”
In a world where technology enables so many new connections - to collaborate, ride-share, exchange, detach - travel is still the best tool (offline, with fresh air and all) for self discovery.
Traveling is the attitude of making things happen, the trust to abandon what no longer makes sense, courage to keep going when we feel like stopping, acceptance to surrender to the present moment.
2. Travel is a mission, not a passtime
Travel is responsibility. It’s knowing how to put yourself in your own place, to accept a world completely different than your own.
It’s understanding the story of each country, each culture, each people, community, tribe and family. It’s giving up your own story to listen to another’s.
To travel is to have a collective sense. It is respecting the differences, needs and limitations of each place. It’s understanding that not everywhere was built to receive millions of tourists and letting go of your itinerary.
Its understanding where we came from and where, always traveling, we are headed.
Travel is our continuous, pluralistic and unconventional learning tool. It’s not a class you find in a course, not a formal education and a grade of pass or fail.
Travel is a school, a college, “an entire year that felt like 4!”.
4. Collaboration is greater than competition
We don’t ask for anything for free. We want to repay people as well as the world, not just receive from them. We we no longer have to get ahead of each other. To get a leg up or get in front. The collective good surpasses individual success.
Collaboration is the key to the effectiveness, efficiency and success of every relationship.
5. We value experiences vs. material things
In the end, we are all here because of experience.
Even growing up in a world with opposing values, we value people more than things.
Material possessions have price tags and immaterial things - love, friendship, learning, knowledge, etc. - have value.
6. Accumulating things does not make sense
We’re not going to take anything with us when we leave this place.
I want to share everything that I possibly can: things, stories, experiences, skills, talents.
I want to pass on everything I’ve learned. I want to repay everything that has been given to me.
We practice essentialism. Living the essential, which is enough for us.
7. We view risk and uncertainty as positives
We dread being in a comfort zone.
It’s not that we don’t value the comfort of being in a place that we want to be, free to lead the life we want to live. But we are detaching from the old patterns, the harsh conditioning, the meaningless status quo.
“We make changes when the pain of staying where we are is greater than our fear of change.” And that’s how we set off for the next experience.
8. We exchange hope for confidence
Hope is a poetic way of waiting for eternal tomorrows that never come.
Real empowerment starts when we decide to live out of our power to make choices and not out of our fear.
Pride, selfishness, greed. Everything that is born for and gives life to fear and illusion, falls behind as we are packing our bags.
9. We feel love for the present moment
Happiness is not in the distant future with a new house and latest model car. True joy lies in living in the present moment, because it is the key to building a future of freedom.
Therefore, each hardship is meant to be exactly the way it was.
Meaning, we are grateful for every single experience.
10. Turning everything into a problem is the problem
Problems are opportunities.
Opportunities to see a situation from another angle. To understand people under a different perspective. To see the world with different eyes.
Complaining doesn’t solve anything. It just helps spread a heavy energy that makes a situation even harder to deal with. Only increases the size of the challenge.
The more we travel, the more we understand that problems are extremely relative and almost always based in an egocentric perspective of life. “Things didn’t go the way I wanted them to, therefore we have a problem.”
Forget that. Look at how many opportunities you have around the world to change your current perspective. See how many people there are with open doors to receive you, to transform your life.
11. For any conflict, there is a conversation
There is no solution that cannot be discussed with a dialogue. Between two (or more) people sincerely sharing their views so that both can understand one another.
Every conflict is the result of two differing worldviews clashing and, for a lack of openness and understanding, they cannot unite in any way.
Every conflict builds barriers because it only looks at differences instead of being content with what we have in common.
In the end, we all want good, we all want to help each other, we all want to build a better world. So then, there is no conversation (sincere, welcoming, tolerant) that doesn’t lead to this result.
12. We take advantage of solitude
To travel alone, is to be alone.
It’s not a phase of life (something that you do at least one time and then scratch off the list), but it’s a continual process of self-discovery and self-compassion.
Learning to value your solitude is to be on good terms with yourself, not needing anything or anyone. It’s what has brought us here and probably what will bring us to the next step of this journey, for the taste of wanting more (to know ourselves more).
We welcome ourselves to our own presence and then welcome the world around us.
We find comfort within ourselves to receive with open arms and hearts the new encounters that the road brings.
13. We want to inspire through example
It was hard, but we finally admitted that we are not in control over other people, so it doesn’t make sense to try to change them or fit them into our own worldviews.
What we can do is be ourselves, acting with maturity, truth and conscience, so that our examples bring new insight to others, a different way of seeing the world, a new way of living life, a new possibility of being something outside the normal patterns.
The way we lead our lives is our greatest example.
Our journey is our message.
14. We are moved by a sense of responsibility
What does the world need? What do you need help with in this moment? What’s the right thing to do in this situation? This is the leader that guides our decisions.
Self-responsibility. The most important characteristic of those that want to make the world an even better place.