Divinity of Simplicity
I urge you to travel. If not for self-satisfaction then for a greater purpose. I never thought that a foreign place could change the way I think or my view on a western world, but the Philippines, my dear Philippines touched my heart and opened my eyes.
Now I’ve travelled before, to the United states. You know, before there was an Oompa Loompa running the country. I’ve noticed that travelling to first world countries tends to fill self-need. It does not always make you see things differently or thoroughly appreciate what you have back home. Throughout the process of planning/booking this trip I was in that “self-need” mindset.
Thinking of all the wonderful adventures I would thrust myself into. Perfect waves, blue lagoons, crystal waterfalls…which were all scenes I got to experience that I will forever treasure, but this place has opened my western eyes wider than I could imagine. Culturally different yes, but their sincere heart for the ocean and surfing was something I could deeply relate to.
We resided in Siargao Island, a non tourist based land where the beauty of people and nature were beyond compare. This place has similarities to my home, palm trees and beaches, the typical tropical vibe, this may explain why I felt right in place. I slowly but surely came to figure out that this country has more to it than its appealing face, the personality is formed by the people and surrounding culture if you just open your eyes, step back and watch.
Cloud 9. A slab of a shallow reef break, where four-foot days were considered flat and barrels were consistently in sight. Sitting upon the lookout I watch gun surfers taking the fearless drop time and time again. Successful or not, they did it with style. Beyond anything else, their smiles, cheers and constant laughter drown out the sound of the crashing waves.
AND THE CHILDREN! oh the beautiful children. The kids of Siargao just want abundant love. They play, say hi and ask for your name when you ride by, endlessly smile, touch your hair, ask for hugs and are truly grateful for everything they have. Children in western countries are raised by a screen and ungrateful attitudes tend to aspire from that.
Amongst the beauty there were many challenges. The harsh conditions of reality in which I’m not used to, was confronting to say the least. Flee ridden stray dogs roam the streets, slipping underneath your feet while the children bath themselves in the sewage stained flood waters from the previous cyclone. Medical practices were as simple as slapping a band aid on it and hoping for the best and road rules…well let’s say there were no rules. Now in my eyes, this is a strange form of normality, but for these people, this is the norm, and why challenge that?
I’ve recently been challenged to understand the concept of what is or isn’t “normal”. Poverty is an unfortunate reality for a majority of the world, but that is their normal, hence why the generations of third world countries are happy and grateful for what they have.
And what is the real difference or yet definition of rich and poor. Not to be defined by the value of items we have but by the value of happiness in which one exceeds. Travelling to third world countries should draw our focus from western practices and turn our mind to learning the divinity of simplicity.
I learnt that here in Australia we are free, we are safe and we are spoilt. As a result, I have proclaimed ultimate gratitude. But this will not forever be my stomping grounds, for I want to spread my heart and gain more knowledge from third world countries. To seek pure beauty and happiness from the people.
I URGE YOU TO TRAVEL. With purpose and an open mind. To seek and to ultimately learn.
About the writer:
Living the good life on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, my name is Edith Watson and I’m the “Creative Artist” Intern for Monsta Surf. The ocean is one of my loves and keeps me passionate about life and I’m a keen long boarder who will surf almost anything you throw at me. I am passionate about meeting knew people and discovering all that this world has to offer, I don’t want to hold back! Working for Monsta Surf has been a blessing, as I get to share my stoke and passion with like-minded people. I love to write and share my ideas with others around me, so recently becoming a surf journalist for local magazines has helped me achieve that. I basically have a lot to say and not much time to verbally tell everyone, so I write it down instead. Keep your eyes peeled and follow my blog: www.redfinblog.wordpress.com/