If going around the world sounds like your definition of a perfect adventure, you are gonna love reading about Juvena Huang’s story! Not only is she travelling the world, she is doing it on a Vespa, all by herself. Also known as The Wandering Wasp, Juvena shares with us how we should be more open to learning new things as you travel.
The sudden death of Juvena’s close friend and bike-travelling buddy reminded her of the impermanence and brevity of life. It pushed her to save, pack her bags and leave. And she never looked back. Apart from the gorgeous places she gets to visit, (yeah, I’m jealous too), we can all learn a thing or two from her travels.
Who knew, how her decision to travel made her the famous Vespa traveller, huh? Apart from sharing her Vespa adventures, here’s a few things you can learn from Juvena.
1. Strangers Are Your Friends
Being on the open road, you are bound to talk to strangers. Juvena has depended on the kindness of strangers to get out of difficult situations. Food poisoning, serious toe infections, major falls, seems like episodes of Deadliest Journeys, but she has gone through them all and survived- thanks to the local samaritans. The world is really not as bad as you think it is. Through her travels, Juvena has met tons of new friends and it gets easier when you are thrown into the situation of travelling alone. For all the introverts out there, here’s a tip for you. Get yourself into difficult situations. It’s tough, but try it.
You start to feel comfortable with situations where you’re obliged to make the first move to communicate. Before you know it, you’re an independent individual capable of navigating yourself in any unfamiliar settings, just like Juvena.
“One thing I learn is that you cannot be 100% prepared for everything. I learn to tackle each problem as it comes and not to sweat over small stuff.”
2. Count Your Blessings
Travelling has also widened Juvena’s perspective and taught her to count her blessings even more. Being in a foreign land with a limited budget, Juvena had to forgo her comfort many times. Putting up with mosquitos, donning a raincoat and a torchlight to go to the bathroom, lack of dry or clean clothes to wear- you name it. To add on, you might not even the luxury of a hot shower or clean or dry clothes for the day – beat that!
Here’s when the realisation of how lucky we are kicks in. It’s important to be thankful for any form of luxury or comfort one has because it may not be yours all the time.
“Contentment is the greatest form of wealth” – Acharya Nagarjuna
3. Discipline Yourself (Save Money Without Leeching Off Her Parents)
Apart from learning how to be appreciative, it is important to learn how to discipline ourselves in anything we do.
In Juvena’s case – many must be wondering how she managed to quit her job and raise the funds to travel the world, right? And no, she didn’t freeload off her parent’s money.
Juvena started to discipline herself financially since 2011. Whatever that she could save, she would. Miscellaneous spending on entertainment such as movies? Only on rare occasions. Her meals? Hardly in restaurants.
At one point in time, she was even moonlighting 3 jobs within 16 hours!
She withdrew from her social circle as well just so that she can earn money and save effectively. That’s dedication right there.
Yes Her efforts to constantly work and save money may be too overwhelming for some and overworking yourself isn’t the way to go either. The main message to be relayed here is how being disciplined can bring you to places.
Learning how to emulate her determination and discipline, will definitely bring you to places.
“Discipline is the bridge to dreams and accomplishments.” – Jim Ron
4. Learning To Let Go
Learning to let go is by the hardest thing Juvena had to do while preparing for her trip. And I’m sure we can all relate. Friends, family, pets, a safe job – can you really let it all go? Like all of us, she had her own reservations about quitting her job and leaving her family for a long time. But she took the leap of faith. Focusing on living for the moment did help her let go of ‘what-ifs’. Seize the moment while you can.
The big picture here is to realize that a lot of time and hard work is invested in making her journey around the world a reality. Of course, going on a trip as extreme as Juvena will not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, her spirit of living her life to the fullest and willing to sacrifice many things to follow her passion is something we all can learn from. Although your story may not necessarily be travelling to another country, you are still on a journey to self-discovery. One of the hardest but worthwhile journey there is.