Open letter to our Michael Lee Johnson by Social Traveler Bjorn Troch

Dear Michael,

The first time I heard about your ambitious social travel adventure on Google+ was because Kamal Tailor and Indulekha Nanayakkara told me about you on Google+. I connected with both of them on my journey as The Social Traveler. With Kamal in the early days of Google+ and with Indulekha on twitter when I was making my way through Sri Lanka. They both picked up on your social travel walking adventure from Beijing to London and thought it was very similar to what I’ve been doing the past years.

As The Social Traveler people have been guiding, meeting, supporting and challenging me on a fixed trajectory around the world. I go to places they recommend, meet them or their friends in the places I pass and sometimes stay at their house and learn about their ways, culture and life. I never used a guide book or looked for information online. Everything that happens is connected to people that connected via social networks or in real life.

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Michael & Bjorn Meet-up in Berlin

When I checked out your project I had a flashback in time. Reading your updates reminded me a lot about the time when I started my social travel adventure almost 4 years ago. I had the same questions and fears. It’s really a scary thing to put yourself out there like that not knowing if there will be people interested in being part of your adventure.

When I saw you were coming to Berlin it was only logical for me to offer you a place to stay and invite you for a little tandem adventure through the city. It’s been a real pleasure meeting you and it was good fun exploring the city together. I love your determination to ‘walk that extra mile’ so I can only support your choice and leave you with some social travel advice 😉

Step by step
Don’t look at the end goal, in your case London. Go step by step, day by day and enjoy the journey. Divide your trajectory into little pieces and celebrate every arrival. Like this you’ll be celebrating your way to London 😉

Don’t panic
Things will go wrong all the time. You’ll get into hard and challenging situations but trust me when I say that there’s always a solution when there’s people around. Reach out to them. People love doers and they know better than anyone else how to solve your problem in the place you are.

Adapt
Be water my friend. That’s what Bruce Lee says and he’s so right. Your mind and body are incredibly versatile and can adapt to the hardest environmental and mental situations. Keep a positive mindset and go with it. You will adapt.

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Discovering Berlin the Social Traveler’s way

Trust your gut
Listen to your body and its senses. They are amazing indicators and hardly wrong. If something doesn’t feel right, just walk away.

Live in the moment
Be there and then and don’t worry about the future and the past too much. You’ll experience intense moments of peace and happiness. Kinda hard to explain but I’ve had a lot of moments where I spontaneously started smiling and feeling truly complete just by taking in those little things that you only notice if you’re ‘in the now’.

Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups
Assumptions and stereotypes towards people are ingrained in our minds. You’ll find that when you open yourself up to people that it’s a lot more complex than seeing things black and white. Every person is different and deserves to be approached like that. It’s really one of the hardest things. I still catch myself having certain prejudices towards people that then turn out to be completely wrong and foolish. Be aware of it and give everybody a chance.

People are awesome
They really are and most of them have only the best intentions. Be respectful and genuine towards them and you’ll be surprised how quickly they’ll open up and welcome you into their world.

Be Social
Don’t just connect with people online but also talk to people around you. Doors will open and opportunities will present themselves.

Well Michael that’s my advice to you. You’re embarking on a journey that will change your life forever. Take it all in and enjoy the amazing adventure ahead. If I’m around Europe in 3 years I’ll definitely come cheer for you at the finish line in London or maybe who knows I’ll come find you and even walk a part with you.

Stay safe and be social 😉

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About the author: 

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Bjorn Troch – Be Social

You’ll find every social traveling adventure Bjorn is doing on his social channels:

Blog: http://www.thesocialtraveler.net/
Google +: The Social Traveler
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSocialTraveler
Twitter: @Social_Traveler 
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/socialtraveler/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thesocialtraveler

 

 

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