Less is More – Attitude is Everything

by Guest Blogger Jim Harlan

All great travelers/explorers are keen observers, for the lessons of the road directly confront them. These strong powers of observation offer insights into unknown lands and people that will allow the traveler the opportunity to learn and blend.  Great travelers listen before they speak.

My personal observations are that the simplest people are the richest of all. In my eye this has been irrefutably proven in all corners of the world.  The people of the Himalayas seem to possess an inherent spirituality driven by the majesty of the setting. Despite the extreme circumstance that each day brings they, by all appearances, are at peace with their struggleceaselessly find promise in each day.  It is of little surprise that Shangri La is located in the Himalayas.

It has been my observation that people who inhabit the equator appear to live without struggleas the fish jump in the boat and the fruit falls off the tree.  The nights are never cold.  They appear to embrace the simplicity of their lives and find true contentment with minimal possessions since all they need is just within their reach.  On the Rio Tomo in Colombian Amazon we came upon a family living on the bend of the river. The floods had filled the dirt floor of their wall-less palapa.  The proud father lined up his many children to greet us as our boat drifted into his living room.  He did not see his dilemma as challenging despite the three feet of water in which they were currently standing.  Smiling broadly, he introduced all of his children and the family otter in a language we had yet to encounter.  Despite the linguistic challenges, we understood immediately that this man and his family had more than most.

My personal observations are that the simplest people are the richest of the all. In my eye this has been irrefutably proven in all corners of the world.  The people of the Himalayas seem to possess an inherent spirituality driven by the majesty of the setting. Despite the extreme circumstance that each day brings they, by all appearances, are at peace with their struggle and ceaselessly find promise in each day.  It is of little surprise that Shangri La is located in the Himalayas.

Even in Howrah, Calcutta, India, the epitome of civilized poverty, I found people whom I considered rich. This corner of the world is the poster child for struggle.  Somehow all of the insurmountable chaos, refuse and darkness is overlooked by the intrepid residents of Howrah. They too seem to find promise in the coming day despite the fact that none of them are beyond hunger and thirst. Even more amazing, we are met with clear eyes, kindness and empathy.  No complaints, no excuses.

The friendliest people I have come across inhabit the three hundred islands of Fiji.  Enchanted people live in enchanted places.  Hunger and thirst are resolved so the bulk of the day is spent drinking Kava and pondering little.  Family is everything and hate is impossible to find. Everyone is welcome.  Sometimes less really is more.

Jim Harlan is an intrepid traveler with a ceaseless passion for extensively exploring the remote corners of the world, often too extensively.  An accomplished pilot and SCUBA diver, the author has traveled to more than one hundred countries over the past thirty four  years of his life.  The author created and owns Uncommon Adventures Dive & Adventure Travel which he has been operating successfully since 1998.  The author received the coveted Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist award in 2006, 2007 & 2011.  To learn more about Uncommon Adventures Travel please visit www.uncommonadventures.com.

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