What Backpacking Through Southeast Asia Taught Me — Wandering Stüs

8 countries. 27 cities. 29 Towns. 22 Villages. 12 Islands. One incredible journey. Here is what backpacking through Southeast Asia taught me. I spent 8 months with my husband, Jesse the other half of the Wandering Stus, roaming around and exploring the amazing countries of Southeast Asia. I left thinking we were prepared, we were…

What Backpacking Through Southeast Asia Taught Me — Wandering Stüs

Lauren, the young woman who wrote this post, is the same age as my twin boys, Zachary and Michael. She is friends with my niece, Jackie, who is also the same age. Zachary, Michael, Jackie and Lauren were all in the same grade school class, and we all lived in the same smaller subdivision. Now, these kids are grown up, each with their own wonderful lives. It’s a joy in life to see what they do in life and who they become.

Travel is also a joy of mine. I once heard it said that we had a responsibility to travel. Now, the idea that travel is a responsibility puzzles me, and as much as I love to travel, I’m not sure I totally agree. However, I do think we have a responsibility to embrace the values that travel promotes. Lauren’s post is a heartfelt testament to the value of travel and the personal transformation which can occur.

I hope you enjoy this post.


  1. What an incredible story. Thanks for leading me to it. I believe the one part that really stuck with me was this: “I took the time to be in the moment and savor every minute. I would close my eyes, breathe in the air, take in the sounds. I was truly appreciative of my moment.” How unfortunate so many people live either in the “past” or dream of the “future” and they miss the joy of the moment. I’ve always said “live each day to the fullest” and try to live that way. If you don’t you’ll truly miss the blessings that God desires to give you “in the moment.” Live today and enjoy it to the fullest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome! And I am so glad you read it and liked it. I can see in your blog how you enjoy each day and each moment to the fullest. That’s what makes your blog so heartwarming. Lauren loves to travel, and she is lucky she has been able to make her dreams come true. You and I are lucky, too! Hope you have a great day!


  2. If I would would have the power, I would make traveling mandatory for the young people. I would love for them to become an exchange student for at least six months in a country with a different culture and a language they are not fluent in, preferable also a different religion.
    Is it our responsibility to travel? Maybe it is, we might owe it to ourselves to widen our horizon and open our hearts. Exploring the world, is a privilege and a beautiful way to get educated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, you would get my vote! I agree wholeheartedly with your last two sentences. I have always thought of travel as fun – and a way to learn, but the transformations can go much deeper. You have worded it so well. I almost want to make a bumper sticker “Travel Widens your Horizons and Opens your Heart!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As someone who did not travel far from home until retired, I can attest to the fact that travel — especially travel for longer periods than the typical two weeks per year that most working people experience — changes a person greatly. Preconceived notions are replaced with real life experience invoking deep thoughts about ones views of the world. I believe Lauren is expressing how her life was changed through travel. It was an interesting read.

    Is travel a responsibility? Travel is an education and we have a responsibility to learn. I hope everyone can experience travel to different parts of the world sometime during their life. It is an awakening.

    Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Traveling to different parts of the world is an awakening. And we are definitely changed after travel. I went to Europe for one month when I was younger on a tour with college kids. I’m not sure how much international travel I will do in the future. I certainly wouldn’t backpack, and I’m much more of a scared-y cat. I also am not a fan of big, crowded, cities with awful traffic. But I do think our eyes are opened when we travel to another country. For now, there is so much of the US and Canada I haven’t seen, so I am hoping Dan and I can experience much more of that. I admire Lauren for following her dreams.


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