Throughout life I have been extremely fortunate to be able to travel the world. With that said, I do live a very frugal life style to be able to fund my travels. The ability to learn about new cultures and see how other people live is one of my most favorite things to do. It is so fascinating to learn about the norms in cultures. The cultures that are most different than the one I’m used to, are my favorite countries to visit.
To be helpless and only get around from place to place with non-verbal language is one of my most favorite challenges. The one thing I have noticed is that in every language there is one language that is always the same. Love. Love is the same in every culture in every language.
While in Istanbul in 2007, I took this picture. It was a beautiful Sunday and we were visiting the Yildiz Palace. This palace was massive with some of the most beautiful precious stones in the world. This trip that I was on was due to taking a class in Emerging Markets, part of the class was going and visiting emerging markets around the world. This leg of the trip was in Istanbul. And let me tell you if you have never been to Istanbul, go. It is THE most gorgeous and spiritual place in the world. I have been to many countries and it is the top 3 places I think all people need to visit.
The spirituality within Istanbul is remarkable. The country is 99% Islamic, with mosques and call to prayer. However, unlike most Islamic countries, Turkey is not run by Islamic law. Due to the nature of Islam and most religions, the spirituality is what guides the members of the religion. The faith in a higher power, the search for happiness and always working to be a better person is what drives people to faith and religion. That’s the whole point of religion. To believe in something larger than life. And to strive for happiness. For most, happiness is a result of religion. However, you don’t always need religion to be happy.
There are a number of formulas and studies that have explained how to be happy. But in reality to be happy, it is important to love. And to be able to be loved in return. Love and happiness last if you are grateful. Always stay grateful and be thankful in all situations. Even for the smallest gesture, be thankful and appreciate your life and your partner. The key to happiness is to love. To always look like these two in the picture is to be grateful in a world of nonverbal and verbal communication.