12 months of travel and the lessons I’ve learned

Twelve months ago I left for what then turned into a world tour.

In 12 months I visited 19 countries and in this post I simply want to list every country or location I have been to and one thing I have learned or understood about that culture or certain particular situations that I have decided to apply in my personal life.
Moments or simple observations that explain to you a country and its people that you like and that you want to make your own, or simple events that made me revisit some beliefs that I believed to be deeply rooted and from which I learned a lesson that I will not easily forget.

Cuba: The strength of ideals. Homeland or Death. Che and Fidel were two icons in Cuba and men with strong ideals for whom either victory was achieved or rather death was achieved.
Teaching: Always believe in what you do and fight to pursue it

Jamaica: Raggae and Ganja music. No problem, Mom! Land of crystal clear waters and white sand that form the backdrop to the black skin of the inhabitants and the brightly colored clothes.
Teaching: Take your time to relax. Regenerate and enjoy life “because every little thing is going to be alright”.

Isole Cayman: Tax haven, resorts and fat Americans who smile as Durbans bite into yet another pizza of the day without worrying about weighing 200 kilos. Truman Show effect!
Teaching: The perfect is disturbing. A place without a soul. The city where I will live in the future must have character (not Dubai so to speak)

Panama: A great surprise, a beautiful country and the most beautiful islands of the Caribbean that made me think all the time (and I continue to think) that paradise on earth exists. Unfortunately, a country that is still undervalued in terms of tourism compared to neighboring Costa Rica.
Teaching: Never listen to strangers but always do your own thing. At least if you make a mistake you will only have yourself to blame

Costa Rica: Natural parks, sea turtles (and humans meaning abdominals) and surfing! The surfing here is top quality, I must say that the surfers are too and nature reigns supreme. National parks, nature sports, the green lung of Central America.
Teaching: Respect for the strength and power of nature.

Nicaragua: Beautiful and dangerous. Thefts happen with guns and knives, never walk alone at night but this doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit, on the contrary. Never let your guard down.
Teaching: Trusting is good but not trusting is better.

The Savior: Beautiful people, beautiful coasts, and simple life. A special memory goes to those who welcomed me into the local community, making me feel part of them surrounded by friends.
Teaching: I will no longer take anything for granted, I will no longer generalize because here in one of the most dangerous countries in the world I have found welcoming and generous people. Negative perception betrayed (fortunately).

Honduras: I remember the heat and the life of Honduran cowboys but also the islands and above all my friend Julie who joined me for my birthday.
Teaching: My friends are important and I have to take care of the friendship if I don’t want to lose it. I’m trying to do my best

Guatemala: a nature’s paradise on earth, immaculate and clean. A strong culture worthy of great respect (the Mayans). Simply splendid.
Teaching: I acquired the eye to see the beauty of small things but above all the Mayans taught me that a poor life does not mean less than respectable.

Mexico: Colors, music, variety of landscapes, history, food and friendly and kind locals. Disappointment in Yucatan, an area for American tourists where the currency becomes the dollar (and not the peso) and where English is spoken instead of Spanish.
Teaching: Avoid areas that are too touristy and don’t pay too much attention to those who have done little travel, they will recommend places that are not only touristy but some even created specifically for tourists (Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres)

NYC: Big and chaotic. The NY of CSI, Low and Order or Sex and the City. A money making machine
Teaching: Big doesn’t mean better, big just means big.

Sicily: Beautiful as always. Varied, good food and nice people.
Teaching: That there is no more beautiful place than home and that it feels good as a family. To remind myself more often and to call my parents frequently (my calls are very rare).

London: the city I had left 8 months before but the difference was that I was tanned and rather relaxed, THEY (the employees who run towards the train at 6am without looking anyone in the face) were pale as usual and rather stressed
Teaching: That a tough experience hardens you and gives you the strength to move forward by persevering in your goals. London was an important (but hard) springboard, happy to have taken the plunge but I don’t want to go back.

Thailand: Beautiful and varied, there is something for everyone. for those who love nature and the mountains, for those who love beaches, for those who love partying. Excellent food and cheap, unfortunately at times too touristy and too much prostitution.
Teaching: Tourism can devastate countries, traveling responsibly is important so as not to exploit a country’s weaknesses to one’s advantage.

Myanmar: Oh People of Myanmar. The trip would be worth it just to spend some time with them. You feel like a super star and your self-esteem will have beneficial effects.
Teaching: People are good and willing to help you more than you might think. Finally some faith in others!

Cambogia: A dramatic story, a country that is recovering from a genocide not too far away.
Teaching: It doesn’t matter how deep you go, because you always get back up

Vietnam: Three microclimates, hot, rainy and cold at the same time. Nice people, great food and easy transportation. A Communist country with a capitalist soul.
Teaching: Find out about the climatic conditions of a country before going and take the necessary precautions!

Laos: Rural, charming, hardworking, silent. Gorgeous but hard to travel, especially by public transport. A pearl not yet invaded by tourism that you can enjoy while you still have time.
Teaching: Considering the tours de forces that I did on the buses, I understood that “nothing is impossible”, not even 48 hours non-stop on the bus.

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