As I have been traveling over the past few months, I have also begun to appreciate the tiny luxuries that make life 100x easier. I have written some initial thoughts about this before, but I really want to emphasize just how eye-opening and truly transformative it can be to put yourself in a situation that is even just slightly different from your comfort zone.
Earlier this week, I left Hong Kong (my home base for this semester), on my first-ever solo international travel experience. I was nervous, sure. But more than that, I was excited.
By doing that, I put myself in perhaps the polar opposite environment from what I am used to back in the United States (in the presence of University). This shift highlighted many of the “tiny luxuries” that I have taken for granted for the first 20 years of my life.
I grew up with air conditioning in every room. I grew up without having to worry about the cleanliness of my water. I grew up without having to think twice when really crossing the roads. I grew up without having to be afraid of wild dogs or dangerous insects.
And so much more.
Here in Vietnam, all of those “never before thoughts” have come to life. I think about all of those while I am here.
And for the locals, these tiny parts (that I have always taken for granted) have always been foundational components of their lives. Why this matters?
There is so much I, and many others, take for granted. Only when we expose ourselves to unique experiences do we see the reality of the “luck of the draw.” We are all lucky, and unlucky, in various ways. I think that in the moment it is often easy to feel disadvantaged or unfairly positioned – compared your wealthier, skinnier, better looking, etc. friends.
I think it always will feel that way. Always.
Unless we flip the script and stop comparing.
The tiny luxuries that we appreciate may be nothingness to the richest of kings. And vice versa. The little luxuries that are in our own lives, that we hardly notice, may be insane riches for others.
It is this perspective check that, in my mind, is immensely valuable.