Looking back on a life-changing month...
NEWS FROM MAYA BLIX!
Summing up L2TL
A few paragraphs is hardly enough to sum up the things that I learned while on the L2TL Island Adventure, but some things in particular stick with me and hopefully will continue to do so for the rest of my life. It was definitely a 'once-in-a-lifetime' thing, and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity. Thank you so much to everyone who followed me throughout this month, and not to forget the once who donated to a very worthy cause - Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. You have made a big difference to someone's life!
Here are some of things that I take with me from the island adventure:
1. A little goes a long way...for some people even for a whole lifetime.
I will happily admit that I am used to the many luxuries and comforts of a privileged Western life, and there is no doubt that I take most of them for granted. I eat when I'm hungry, I sleep in a soft bed when I'm tired, and I don't have to spend any time doing physical labor as I've got a million machines to do just that. Stripped of anything slightly convenient while on the island, I realized a few things. For once, I was actually ok without them (except for food). Secondly, I got a renewed appreciation for the little things in life. Digging through the rubbish which washed up with the tide on the beach each day reminded me that millions of people do this for a whole lifetime. I realized that things that have no value to me, can make a huge difference and save the day for someone else. My rubbish tip can actually be a potential gold mine out in the real world.
2. There's always a lot more to the story.
No one likes to be judged, but ironically we (including myself) sometimes judge other people or situations. When I came back from the island after 25 days, I immediately felt incredible joy about the overall experience. A day later my happiness turned into confusion and the feeling of being misunderstood as I didn't relate to some of the things which were written on the L2TL website. I felt that my experience was, in some ways, quite different to what was portrayed, and I didn't enjoy being 'categorized' and perhaps associated with an island 'stereotype'. It only hit me a couple of days later that it really doesn't matter what is written or read, or what people even believe. We only experience little snippets of each other's worlds, and I can never draw a conclusion or judge someone or something based on that.
3. Food and the body-mind.
I have never had to go a day without food in my life. I love food and I like to eat. Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little - but all in all I pretty much eat when and where I want to. There were so many interesting aspects of the element 'lack-of-food' or 'no-food' while on the island, both in relation to physical and mental changes, but also with regards to how it influenced and sometimes dictated the group dynamic. I found the latter particularly interesting. You either had rice or you didn't, you ate reef fish or not, and some people shared their food while others portioned it out. There were even questions, if only for a split second, about stealing fish from the local fishermen's nets. Many of us became tradesmen, and food was the currency. I was also fascinated by the whole body-mind connection and how food affects our minds - both during but also after our island experience. Rice has never tasted so good...:)
I love Mother Nature, and I consider her a necessity for my overall wellbeing and happiness. Always considering myself more of a mountain goat than a tropical fish, I realize that I very much enjoyed the heat, sand and beaches. Just like the human body, nature always strives for balance, which is why I found it very upsetting when I saw that big parts of the beach were covered in rubbish upon arrival on day 1. Unfortunately, the rubbish never disappeared, but continued to wash up every single day of my stay. Confirming that human beings carelessly and selfishly ruin the world we live in is very sad, so I have decided to put even more energy into living a 'green' life.
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