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How Travel Became My Story

By Jackie Shields »

The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement, as well as when starting new exercise regimens. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer who has been compensated by the up4® Probiotics Brand, and do not portray the opinions of the brand, i-Health, Inc., or DSM.

My name is Jackie and I’m the face of my travel blog, “Get Lost With Jackie.” I founded my brand after coming home from a life-changing trip to Bali, Indonesia in 2013. The benefits I’ve reaped in five years of traveling are endless and now, more than ever, I believe travel can assist in opening minds, educating and healing.


Gratitude


Bali is nicknamed “Island of the Gods” as locals worship hundreds of different gods. When traveling around Bali, you can’t help but notice the offerings that are all over—on the ground, on statues, at the sea — the Balinese make these offerings daily, in a spirit of gratuity and self-sacrifice. The Balinese are some of the happiest people I’ve encountered during my travels and after speaking to locals, I learned that a large part of their happiness comes from their daily offerings and gratuity. Since I’ve traveled to Bali, I’ve adopted taking a few moments every day to write down what I’m grateful for, helping to develop an appreciative state of mind and leading to my overall happiness and well-being.


Perspective


One of my favorite countries in the world is Italy. From the cuisine to the history, I love everything about the country. Italians, like the Balinese, seem to have a special secret to happiness and you’ll almost never find a ‘stressed out’ Italian. The Italian lifestyle places a priority on leisure and puts business on the back-burner. As a self-employed American, this concept of “not putting work above all” wasn’t something I was easily able to adopt, but thanks to the Italians I’ve learned to sit back, relax and enjoy each day and everything that comes with it. ‘Il dolce far niente’ — the sweetness of doing nothing.


Patience


Traveling to Morocco is like taking a step back in time. From the medinas to the traditional tajine dishes, you can see (smell and taste) the history of the country in everyday activities. Morocco is a beautiful country with unique experiences (how many places in the world can you ride a camel during sunrise or camp out in the Sahara Desert?). One of the major lessons I learned in Morocco was patience. As an American, I’m used to certain norms and sometimes we take our conveniences for granted. During my travels in Morocco I learned that not everything in life worth having comes easy and I established a sense of patience that has helped me in many situations since, both at home and abroad.

From my gratitude developed in Bali to the patience I’ve fostered in Morocco and especially the outlook on work/life balance I adopted in Italy, the lessons that I learn while traveling the world not only stay with me, but positively contribute to my overall life and well-being. My daily morning gratitude, taking a deep breath and taking a step back when work becomes overwhelming, and even stopping to appreciate having a car (when stuck in rush hour traffic) are all things I am grateful for learning from my travels. Nearly anyone can begin to implement the habits I’ve established from my lessons abroad!