Love is Enough

Love is Enough, seen in a remote Himalayan village in Nepal

"Who's that Buzz guy?"

"Buzz Aldrin? He was one of the first people to walk on the moon."

She was surrounded by space geeks, asking questions about space history that must have seemed trivial and obvious to everyone around her. But she wasn't judged. She wasn't laughed at, criticized, or looked down upon. Instead, her curiosity was enthusiastically embraced and nurtured.

Five people stood around the kitchen and took turns answering question after question. Five people who only a few days earlier were total strangers. This, I realized, is why love and passion are so important to humanity.

Their voices began to blur and their outlines became fuzzy as I began daydreaming of a world where every person was just as compassionate and caring. A world where strangers would regularly come together to share knowledge and exchange ideas. A world where what mattered wasn't power or prestige, but pure, simple, love.

But let me back up a little and explain how this group of strangers, including myself, came to be living together under the same roof.

Several months ago, more than three thousand people from around the world submitted their name for an online drawing to attend the NASA STS-133 Tweetup, a real-world meeting of Twitter users who would be invited by NASA as VIP guests to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A hundred and fifty people, including yours truly, were randomly selected to attend this event.

NASA organized a free two-day schedule of talks with astronauts and engineers, demonstrations of Robonaut 2, and tours through various buildings at the Kennedy Space Center, including an up close look at the space shuttle on the launch pad.

We were even given a surprise tour of the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Shuttle Landing Facility, neither of which are available on the public tour.

The Space Shuttle Discovery was scheduled to launch on November 1st and this invitation allowed us to watch the launch from the countdown clock, a mere 3.5 miles from the launch pad (that's the closest you can safely get; everyone else has to watch it from 9.5 miles).

When the list of selected attendees for the NASA Tweetup was released, everybody began connecting with each other on Twitter. Someone started a Google Group and then someone else suggested a group house rental.

Suddenly there were five houses being rented, all with their own nicknames and confirmed residents. Carpooling groups were organized and arrival times were coordinated. Someone offered to bring extra towels and blankets for those who might need them.

The first house to get put together was rightly nicknamed the Big House: seventeen of us lived together for a week in a four bedroom house on the ocean. We cooked together, went food shopping together, played music together, shared stories together, and laughed together.

"Here's a blank check, just fill in the amount I owe you."

After only having known each other for a few days, that was the level of trust that had developed between some of us.

We used Twitter to share updates on the status of the shuttle launch, coordinate meetings for lunch and dinner, share jokes, publish photos, and even conduct elaborate pranks. Members of the Beta House -- the second house to organize -- joined the Big House almost every day.

The level of diversity, high degree of cooperation, and seemingly instantaneous compatibility and trust that developed between everyone in both groups was astounding.

It was hard to believe we hadn't know each other our entire lives.

Then launch delay after launch delay forced us to extend our stay from three days to over a week. By the end of the week an additional delay postponed the launch by almost a month.

The shuttle launch was supposed to be the highlight of our trip. It was supposed to be the grand finale that made the expense and long journey worth it. But when it became clear that we weren't going to see a launch anytime soon, we realized that what we gained by coming together was even more special than getting to see a launch.

As everybody began saying their goodbyes, it became obvious how close we had all grown. A few days earlier we were all strangers but now, as people departed, tears were being shed. Promises were being made to see each other again and to stay in touch.

It didn't matter how far apart we lived or how different our lives may have been. It didn't matter what beliefs we followed or what country we came from. By the end of that week, we weren't strangers, acquaintances, or even friends. We were family.

But how could that happen? How could a group of total strangers feel like family after just one week? What was it that brought us together and allowed us to relate on a level that not only dismissed our differences, but allowed us to embrace each other as more than just friends?

I realized it was the understanding that we were all part of something bigger, something greater than ourselves, something that was more important than any one individual. That understanding enabled us to see past our individual differences and accept each other for exactly who we were.

Our mutual enthusiasm and passion for space exploration made us see that no matter where on the planet we came from, we were in this together. We needed each other. If someone didn't know who Buzz Aldrin was, the answer wasn't to judge, but to teach.

What brought us together was a shared passion for exploring the unknown. It was a shared quest for discovery, for testing limits, for working together, and for advancing the human race.

What brought us together was love.

And that was enough.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix

That's what happened in this group. The power of love overcame the love of power.

Our individual strengths and weaknesses didn't matter. How rich or poor we were didn't matter. How successful or unsuccessful we were didn't matter.

What mattered was that we all loved and cared about the same thing.

What mattered was that we were all in this together.

This sense of togetherness can be extended. It needs to be extended.

While we need to take care of ourselves, we also need to have a genuine interest in others. We need to empathize with each others' struggles and successes. We need to recognize that everybody living on this planet is one big family and then treat each other as such.

The next time you look at a stranger, try to see the humanity in that person. Look past their facial features. Dismiss the subtle judgements you make and see them not as a stranger, but as a son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather. See their capacity for love and how little really separates you from them.

We're all stardust. We came from stardust and our bodies will return to stardust.

By rediscovering our innate connection to the universe and to all that exists, the differences that separate us will disappear. What will remain is a community where the advancement of humanity and the well-being of all life is the common goal that unites us all.

Write a Comment



    • Thank you, Jenna!

      I think the shared experience of being human definitely brought us together, but that none of us were really aware of everything that was happening. It just happened. We just were. And therein lies the beauty of community: When we’re together for a common purpose, nobody needs to think about creating the experience or being compassionate and helpful. It just happens. πŸ™‚

    • Well said, Jonathan. As humans, we are super powerful beings. But when we doubt that power or become greedy and try to find more, that’s when we lose control. That’s when we lose our humanity.

  1. Wow, Raam, what a beautiful and insightful piece. Made me cry with the joy of being part of this lucky family as well as the frustration that comes from how rare it is. Now it’s our job to spread this message as you are doing so elegantly and eloquently. Thank you for writing this, and thank you for just being you.

    • Thank you, CraftLass! I feel your frustration with the rarity of such connections, but I don’t think it needs to stay that way. Those deeper connections can spread and grow and, as you said, it’s our job to propel that movement forward. Connecting with others on a deeper level and seeing everybody for who they are will inspire others to do the same. πŸ™‚

  2. hi Raam!
    forgot about the nasa contest you won. anyway, it great to read.
    just shows what human beings are capable of when they let themselves be human.

    • Thank you, Varuni! It really is amazing what happens when we see each other as absolute equals and focus on exploring our commonalities and enjoying our individual uniqueness. πŸ™‚

  3. What a beautiful adventure you had and wonderful takeaways you’ve shared. Thank you Raam for your open heart and never-ending sense of adventure. Much love to you.

    • Looking at life as a great big adventure definitely makes each day more interesting than the previous. Every day I seem to feel even more fortunate than I did the previous day! Thank you and much love to you, Katie! πŸ™‚

  4. Raam, Love is enough. That’s all, it’s so simple. I’m thankful that you wrote this since the tendency is that we look elsewhere for the solution to our problems. We don’t need the complicated plans that require “important people”, lots of money, government agencies and large corporations to try to make the world like we want it. It’s a simple decision to love. You were given an amazing opportunity to experience what life can be like when people genuinely care for each other. I do have a question for you. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if everybody didn’t have to go “home”? Why did everyone have to go home? Love is worth abandoning everything else in your life to go after. I liked when you said that they were like family. In a real sense family is those that share a common love for each other. Raam, the way you wrote this was as though you caught the light of a becon from the corner of your eye and where amazed by its light. What’s the next step bro? If you were stranded at sea what would be your next step? You’d probably risk your life to follow it. It’s your only hope of survival. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read anything online that even comes close in depth and conviction as what I’ve been reading from you…really. The question is how desperate are you to get back what you experience in Florida? As you know already love comes a cost(not monetary). It comes at the cost of giving up my selfish desires(of which I have many). In order to see the greater good of other peoples needs. Man! I’m so grateful we’re friends Raam. Thank you. Don’t stop expressing your heart!

    • Thank you for the thoughtful and heartwarming comment, John!

      While none of us wanted to go home, we all had responsibilities and families to return to. However, I think that’s actually a good thing. We’re bringing back this experience with us and it’s affecting those we interact with (even if only indirectly). It was like we came together for that one week, built up an enormous amount of energy, compassion, and love, and then all of that energy was dispersed around the planet (as far as Australia!).

      That connection we felt is still there and I think it’s being kept alive through the wonder of technologies like the Internet. We don’t need to be in the same physical space all the time to experience that same level of connectedness. I still feel very connected with all those people I lived with, even though they’ve all returned to their normal lives. That connected feeling causes me to look at total strangers while I sit in a cafe and feel just a little more connected to them too.

      While living together and experiencing that togetherness is incredible, I think the real solution for the planet is for us to learn how to feel that connected going through our daily lives. To experience the connection every day, not just with other humans but with all life. To look at plants, trees, and animals and feel a sense of connection to them as well.

  5. I had the opportunity to attend a weekend personal formation seminar several years ago. The other trainees and I arrived in silence on Friday night. No chatter, no small talk, just silence. By Sunday, however, these people were my best friends and I still love them today.

    It’s amazing how 48 hours can turn strangers into friends – but that is the power of love.


    • Thank you for sharing that, Alex. I think that shows us that the key lies in the desire to feel connected, the desire to learn, understand, and accept each other for exactly who we are. When this group came together in Florida, we went there with absolutely no expectations of each other and no judgement. We went there to enjoy each others’ company and have an experience together. That allowed us to connect on a level that would’ve have been impossible if we had gone there with expectations of each other.

      If 48 hours can turn strangers into friends, why can’t we feel just as connected to the entire planet within our lifetimes?

  6. Hey Raam –

    Great story of human connection. When we allow the lines that have been drawn around us to disappear and become aware of the humanity in others, amazing things can and do happen. Your absolutely right, this sense of togetherness NEEDS to be extended.

    Awesome piece, my friend.

    • Thank you, Steve! I think the process of extending the togetherness has already started, instigated in part by the incredible reach of the Internet and the desire by so many to feel part of something greater than themselves.

  7. Raam, Thank-you for the inspiring post. It shows how individuals can dedicate themselves to something larger than themselves under the organizing principle of love for others. Some of the greatest achievements in recent history, such as the non-violent civil disobedience movement for Indian independence led by Gandhi and President Kennedy’s call to put a man on the moon by the end of the 60s, could only have been achieved by motivating the dedication, energy, and spirits of thousands bound by common cause for a greater good. As John mentions above, we don’t have to wait for governments or corporations to lead, we can begin with individual action that inspires others at the local or global level. This is one of the benefits of the Internet.

    • Greg, I couldn’t agree with you more! The Internet is enabling a sense of connectedness like never before, allowing us to see that there’s almost an unlimited number of people who care about the same things we care about. As the Internet-enabled population continues to skyrocket (imagine 6 billion people connected!) that sense of being part of something bigger than ourselves will only continue growing. It will help us see how powerful we all are and how the future of the planet is entirely in our individual hands.

      Governments and corporations exist because we choose to let them. Those same organizations do and don’t do things because we choose to let them. When the meat of those organizations is so far away from us — when we’re so disconnected from them — it’s easy to feel powerless. But that’s changing as we all begin to see what a huge role we play in their existence.

  8. Well said, Raam. It is love of something more than all of us. A sense of wonder, of place and future. It is a love of something that can be for all of us. We watch in awe as we crawl onto the shoulders of giants peering deep as we gain our foothold.

    I hope we continue the momentum.

    • Thank you, John. I think the continuation of that momentum is inevitable. We all want it too badly. We yearn for that sense of wonder, place, and future, that sense that there’s more to life than the tiny worlds we each live in.

  9. Gorgeous piece. Captures everything so many of us are trying to put into words.

    Thank you for sharing the NASA Tweetup experience with me and thank you for writing this out so others get a sense of what we actually experienced while there together.

    Best to you!

    • You’re welcome, Gavin! Thanks for bringing so much joy and laughter to the Big House. I’m bummed that I didn’t get a chance to record your awesome jamming session on the guitar that evening in the kitchen, but there’s always next time! πŸ™‚

  10. Beautiful! If we always saw others as an extension of ourselves, or part of the same whole, the world would be a much better place. (But definitely easier said than done) πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Jasmine! We’re all already connected… we just need to step aside and tap into it! While we cannot force others to feel connected with us, we can still relate with others on that deeper level and inspire them to do the same. I find myself jumping into conversations with people working at cafe’s now because I don’t see them as strangers, but as friends who I know very little about. πŸ™‚

  11. Hi, I was not on the tweetup, because you have to be 18 to participate, but i still went to FL from Costa Rica with my dad to watch the launch. Im not gonna lie, missing the launch was a HUGE disappointment, but I still got to meet all these amazing people that were out there. I can now say that the trip, launch or no launch, changed my life. Thank you for writing this, you put my thoughts into words. So all i can say is Thank You! πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Raam,

    Beautiful story! I’m so happy you had such a fabulous time and felt such interconnectedness with others. I love the Jimi Hendrix quote – β€œWhen the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

    The more I reflect on our interconectedness with each other, all sentient beings, and the rocks, dirt, and startdust the more astounded I am. If we truly understood this interconnectedness we would understand – as the Dalai Lama always says – harming harms you and helping helps you. Then the world would be a different place!

    Thank your for writing about the power of love.

    • Hi Sandra,

      That Jimi Hendrix quote is so simple and yet so profound. I always return to it when I’m searching for the most simple explanation. πŸ™‚

      Our interconnectedness is truly astounding and when we experience even a tiny taste of that, it’s life changing (as this event proved for so many people). Now I find myself relating with strangers on a totally different level, a level of commonality and humanity, instead of distance and unknowns. What a change in the way the world is viewed!

  13. What a great story and epic adventure in interacting with us humans getting along. I love it.

    Funny that you mentioned stardust. I bought this little postcard in Estes Park, CO for myself a few months ago. It reads:

    “You are sunshine and stardust…

    Pieces of the original creation

    In a new divine form.

    You are more magnificent, more amazing, more wonderful than you could ever imagine…

    Ponder that for a moment and then have the most magical, miraculous, marvelous day!”


    Thanks for sharing, Raam!

    • Wow, what a beautiful little poem! When I slow down and read it, fully ingesting each line, it leaves me feeling so empowered! πŸ™‚

      Thank you for sharing that, Vanessa!

    • Thank you, Andi! I can’t take credit for the the stardust bit… when I was little, my dad always used to say that “we’re all stardust”. That has always stuck with me and it helps me remember that no matter how challenging or difficult a situation, no matter how foreign, unknown, or distant something is, everything can be broken down to pure, simple, stardust. πŸ™‚

  14. Beautiful. Although I wasn’t there, I was following on twitter & via hatcam πŸ™‚ Believe me, those of us not present could feel the love from here, especially towards the end: so many tweeps saying that the launch scrub was, in the end, a detail & that the people experience of that week was what made it so special. The departure and back-to-reality tweets and longing to be back there were very touching. I’m so happy to read that this kind of thing is possible, it gives me hope for humanity during a time that I often despair for our future…thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks John! It’s amazing that even people like yourself who weren’t there were able to witness and recognize the incredible experience we were having. πŸ™‚

      Once we see the potential for such cooperation between a group of total strangers, it’s hard not to imagine what would be possible if everyone on planet Earth put their brains together to achieve something.

  15. Hi Raam,

    I loved the bit about expectation. We only learnt recently from a Buddhist friend that expectation is not good -it causes disappointment. If we expect people to behave the way we think they should then we are setting ourselves up for upset when they don’t. This has really helped us. Also many times I have assumed things and been completely wrong…

    It’s so nice to hear of people just accepting and loving each other – it’s the way forward!

    Lovely post as always, beautifully written and thought provoking πŸ™‚

    Love to all x x

    • Hi Debbie!

      I like to tell myself, if you don’t have any expectations, you’ll never be disappointed! Living with an appreciation for everything and allowing ourselves to learn from everything and everyone around us gives us virtually unlimited opportunities for growth.

      Thank you for the heartwarming comment and for being part of this community! πŸ™‚

    • Debbie, I love what you said. It’s true, I find that when I expect nothing of people they tend to surprise me in a very good way. Much like when you go to see a movie with the expectation it will be one of the best you’ve ever seen it usually does nothing but disappoint, but if you see the same movie with no preconceived notions it might delight you.

      It seems like most of the disappointments in life stem from inside us, when you open your eyes and simply live and take chances without demanding anything in particular the world becomes a wondrous place.

  16. Hi Raam,

    Thank you for your terrific article! Here’s my thought I feel compelled to share upon reading it:

    Perhaps the underlying commitment of each person is the greatness of humanity, which inside of, love can be expressed ultimately, and when our habits of speaking and being that undermine this commitment are not present, love can naturally express itself in each person.

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Holden!

      I think you’re right about the group having a high appreciation for the greatness of humanity. We all had a passion for space exploration and I think if there is one thing that proves the potential of our species, it’s our desire and ability to reach for the stars. It also forces us to recognize that we need to work together to achieve those things.

      By aiming for space, we immediately change our perspective from country, religion, ethnicity, or status, to planet, Earth, and humanity. When we do that, we remove the barriers that prevent us from seeing each other as equals and love and compassion for each other can manifest itself.

      • Raam,

        For me, you couldn’t of said that better. I also find myself believing that we are here for space. Sometimes I feel like I was promised rocket ships and got 500 channels and designer underwear instead.

        I would also just like to clarify, when I said each person, I was speaking about each person on the planet.

        Thanks again!

  17. What a wonderful post about the community and love that can spring up in just a short period of time. Also amazing that you’ve toured the VAB! I vaguely recall touring it once at least 15 years ago, but would love to see it as an adult πŸ™‚ Sorry you didn’t get to see a launch!

    • Thank you, Shannon! The VAB was incredible… it was almost dizzying-big! Did you visit it as part of a tour? I was under the impression that the public tours ended in the early 1970s.

      NASA extended our invitation to watch the launch from the countdown clock (3.5 miles!), So assuming it gets scheduled for the November 30th – December 5th window, there’s still a chance we’ll get to see a launch this year! πŸ™‚

    • I took that photo on my recent backpacking trip to Nepal. I was staying in a remote village about 10,000ft up in the Himalayan mountains and the walls of each room were covered with various artwork. πŸ™‚

  18. Raam – your way with words are truly inspiring – I find myself hard to overcome my initial reaction all the time because I’ve set up those barriers from years of being burned by others but it shows its true ugly face when I’m dismissive of those that I’ve just met.

    Not any more.

    I don’t really believe in karma but since things have been going good my way – I’m trying to pass it off to others. It’s the little things that brighten someone’s day such as holding open a door when their hands are full at the post office, smiling at someone and they smile back, saying thank you or offering your help.

    It really becomes the journey we have in life that makes it so wonderful – not the end – not the power – not the final destinations and events (such as you pointed out) – it’s the connections we create during the process, bonds that are more powerful than the end results.

    Compels you to do something good every day; not because you feel obligated but because you feel that it’s a part of your being. If more people thought like this than we’d be better off – although we can’t assume people will – if we take the first action to open people up to these thoughts than we’ll slowly build a great community.

    • What you said about the connections and bonds being more important is so true. I mean think about it, when someone dies, all that’s left are the effects of the connections and bonds that person made in the world. That’s all that lives on when we’re gone.

      Lately I’ve found myself being genuinely more open to connecting with others, strangers or not. I take just a little more time to appreciate their presence and make a conscious effort to acknowledge them. And like you said, doing that automatically compels us to do something good every day. When we feel more connected to everything around us, we’re not being selfish and only thinking about what we can get from the world.
      Thank you for the comment and always thoughtful words, Murlu! πŸ™‚

  19. Wow. What a great story. I’ve had a few similar experiences as well where I met a group of strangers and became very close over a short period. It reminds me that we are human and there are other people out there that I belong with. That I should connect with… and even if my geographical location keeps me from being next to them, at least I can still maintain contact online.

    With the internet it’s so much easier to find your tribe. The connections and bonds you form are extremely important. Appreciate that person for who they are in that moment, unable to judge of their past.

    Great article Raam.

    • You’re so right about the Internet making it easier. I think the dynamic of relationships is shifting because of our ability to stay connected through the Internet even after parting ways.

      I spent a week with total strangers and now most of them will likely be lifelong friends. We’re still separated geographically by hundreds or thousands of miles, but the relationships will live on because we’re able to stay connected.

      The ability to stay connected even after parting means that all interactions in the real world suddenly have the potential to be a lot more important and meaningful.

      When you combine the passive connections online (reading each others’ blog posts, tweets, etc.) with real-time interaction, the connections instantaneously deepen. After our Skype chat the other day, I now feel more connected with you; the connection feels deeper than it did before the call even though all we did was chat for a bit.

  20. Yes, we all are stardust. Everything that exists is stardust. I find that infinitely reassuring, so moving and expansive. It fills me with such intense love that I know only love.

    Everything that exists, even every possibility and potentiality is part of the astounding Energetic Fabric or Energetic Being that we all are, from a mosquito to the Grand Canyon to an elephant to you to me and the distant galaxies. We are one living organism.

    When we can FEEL this in every cell of our being we know only love. We are timeless, eternal, as is all of Existence.

    This is a beautiful experience you had, and expressed beautifully too. Your souls is magnificent. Thank you my friend. Hugs, Robin

  21. Hello Raam, I’m speechless.

    I’m convinced that the things never happen by chance; I mean, the wind not takes them away. They stay for a purpose. That experience means that LOVE, should be an unbreakable rule for human beings; because with that rule this world would be clean of hate. But it’s a shame, not all people know the real love; many people are hungry of it.
    I think that with this experience that you had, you knew it. And feel proud of it, because not all people will have that opportunity to learn about love, like you learned it. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Viviana.

      I think we all know real love, it’s just that we’ve forgotten it. I think every child discovers it but that its true meaning is lost as we age… as the world tells us we need to be tough to survive, that the world is a cruel place.

      I think inside all of us that love still exists, just waiting to be tapped into and rekindled. Passion brings us closest to it and that’s why when a group of people who are truly passionate about something come together, it’s a lot easier for them to rediscover it. πŸ™‚

  22. Thanks Raam for showing us how powerful the power of love is and how beautiful being human can be when we unite upon a common ground. Stories like this reminds us of how great and far we have come as humanity and how great a simple gesture of embracing someone you don’t know can change the lives of both people.

    You show how much you care by your involvement in your community comments. That’s what I like about you most Raam.

    Thanks Friend

    • Hi Alyx,

      I love what you said about the simple gesture of embracing someone. I think we are too often skeptical and reserved when it comes to expressing empathy and kindness to those around us… we feel like they might abuse our kindness or return our trust with deceit (especially if we’ve been burned in the past). We don’t need to let our guard down and be susceptible to the evil of the world, but we can still express compassion and kindness to those who give us good vibes and who offer their kindness and compassion to us.

      When I reply to these comments, I imagine myself sitting in front of you. We’re not separated by hundreds or thousands of miles — we’re connected through energy that envelopes all of us. You spent some of your life reading what I had to say and then leaving thoughts of your own for the whole world to see. To me, that deserves my respect and a response with my own thoughts. I imagine we’re sitting side-by-side having a brief conversation. πŸ™‚

    • I can’t really take credit for that quote, since it’s something my dad always said when I was younger. It wasn’t in those exact words, but that was the essence of it. It has stuck with me for 20+ years. πŸ™‚

  23. This is essentially what I tell people when they ask why I travel and what I discover from travel: that underneath what appears to be vast cultural differences, we all laugh, we all cry, and we’re all human. We’re not so different as people may think. And by the way- loved the picture. I took a photo on my last trip to Kenya of a sign with two doves on it that said Love is Enough. It was in a scruffy little cafe in a village but it struck such a cord with me that I had to photograph it. Seeing yours brought back memories for me.

    • Welcome, Laura!

      Isn’t it incredible how quickly travel can teach us how connected we all are? Even when two people have absolutely no way of understanding each others’ language, we know that we’re both human. That sense of connection is such a difficult experience to describe!

      I took that “Love is Enough” photo on my recent backpacking trip to Nepal. I was staying in a remote trekking village in the Himalayan mountains and the walls of each room were covered with various artwork, including that Love is Enough. I would really love to see the photo you took in Kenya… do you have it online anywhere?

        • That’s an awesome photo! Thank you so much for sharing.

          I was poking around your blog and it looks like we began our travel journey’s around the same time: December 2009! You’ve got a new Facebook fan (er, “Like”) and a new blog reader. πŸ™‚

          • haha likewise. I started my actual trip in March and it sadly ended a week ago. But hopefully this is just a vacation from traveling πŸ˜‰

          • I started mine March 13th (made the decision in December ’09) and I got back a few months ago (September 13th). πŸ™‚

            If you’re interested in my budget during those six months, you can check out the Frugal Travel Reports that I did every month — I tracked all my expenses down to the penny!

  24. Going through your archives. This is great article, and what a fine experience! I’m sure you discovered through your travels that this universal connection exists everywhere: be it some native giving you directions, or whatever. We are ALL relatives, which I believe motivates your concern for and desire to contribute to the welfare of other human beings. One would want good things for her/his blood kin. So too for our star dust brethren.

    • You’re absolutely right, Ricky. I did experience this throughout my travels in India, Vietnam, and Nepal and it was an incredible experience. To sit next to people in a packed jeep (in south India, they pack 22+ people in an 8-person jeep) and not be able to communicate with them, but still exchange smiles and realize that we’re both very human — that we both share everything besides language in common — that was amazing.

      And now that I’m back in the United States, I have a much greater appreciation for the world and all its inhabitants. I feel greater sense of empathy towards their struggles and towards the problems most in need of attention.

    • Thank you, Susan. It was an amazing experience that is still reverberating through my life even six months later (I decided to move down here to catch the last two launches!). πŸ™‚

  25. Great post! Sounds like a wonderful experience.

    I do my best to remember to see the light in each person I see, the light coming from their eyes. When I can remember, the results are incredible!

    People really react differently when they feel you talking to their true humanity, from yours.

    • Thanks, David! It really is incredible how quickly the world around us changes when we change how we approach it. A simple shift in mindset — extending positive thoughts into the world — shifts the very fabric of nature around us. πŸ™‚

  26. Greetings and totally new here! Read this and just had to say… beautiful story and beautifully and well written… thank you for sharing! ; )


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