Venice seduced me. Its ancient architecture surrounded by salt water made me feel strangely at home. In every corner I could feel the presence of past lovers in an endless summer romance. The city reminds me that love can be found by simply watching the sunset on a bridge in Castello. It showed me that understanding and accepting other's differences is essential while traveling. These are the three #LifeLessons I learned while in Venice. 

Embrace other’s differences

Rather than being in a constant mental battle due to the differences between myself and those around me, I learned to appreciate their unique qualities. I was wasting precious time focusing on what separates myself from others rather than embracing our diversity. If you are good with directions and your travel buddy isn’t, don’t resent them for it. They have other positive character traits- focus on those. It will make your travels easygoing and lighthearted. See it as an opportunity to fine tune your talents and learn how to identify other’s strengths. Chances are, they have what you lack.

Think about it, why would you be given a travel buddy that shares your same gifts? By being with someone with different abilities, you feed off each other and this is the basis for creating efficient teams.

Let go of what you //think// should happen

I love to create stories in my mind about what will happen during the trip. These self-created movies create anticipation for the upcoming vacation, but once I arrive to my destination, I let go of any preconceived notion of what //should// happen.The problem with expectations is that I have a certain standard for how I want the trip to go & my travel buddy has another one. The moment these expectations don’t coincide, there’s friction because you will both take every decision based on your own movies, but neither of you is aware of what the other has in mind. Nevertheless, if you don’t communicate your desires, most of your actions will be misunderstood. If we let go of all these thoughts telling us how everything should be done, we create space for spontaneity. We enjoy little things that we would have missed trying to look for the perfect restaurant, the perfect spot to people watch, or the perfect little café. Instead, let yourself be surprised by what life has in store for you.  

Enjoy being lost

We were lost for four hours trying to find our Airbnb. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and although we had our suitcases and bags with us, we managed to have a wonderful afternoon. We had lunch, took pictures, laughed at our own ingenuity of underestimating the little streets in Venice and overestimating our ability to follow a map. Instead of crossing the island in a straight line, we zigzagged our way through, breathing fresh air and absorbing the history hidden in every decaying building. Our positive attitude was because (as mentioned in step #3) we let go of what we thought should happen and decided to flow with whatever came our way. As long as you’re not in danger, enjoy ditching google maps for a while and immerse yourself in the present moment because we got lost in Venice and enjoyed every second of it.

Communication is key when traveling with friends. Let go of limiting thoughts and behaviors that inhibit your full acceptance of the present moment. Regardless of how many plans you make, life works in interesting ways- let yourself be surprised by what it has in store for you. 

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