Since ever I made a critical life decision to leave Kenya, I have been waiting for an opportunity to leave Kenya for a long time when the airport has been closed due to COVID-19, just like many other countries (in fact it was just 1-2 month, but it psychologically it felt like much longer).
Some governments/embassies made efforts to arrange a chartered flight to send their citizens back home, but the announcement comes with very short notice (e.g. 3 days – 1 week, which is hard for someone like me without a willingness to come back).
Although I have taken the UN humanitarian flight for my work, I have never taken a one-shot emergency flight before. Given that not many people have a chance to take a chartered flight, I would like to share some learning from taking emergency chartered flight in the context of COVID-19.
When was the last time you made a difficult decision? I am not talking about deciding what to wear or what to eat today, but the one which could change your life.
Recently, I had one. The difficult part was that I had several choices, each of which was totally different. It was like comparing and mango, pineapple, and banana, and choose only one (I love them all).
I believe everyone has to make a difficult life decision some times, so I will share some lessons and tips, hoping this will be helpful for others. In a nutshell, it is only you who makes the final call, but there are many different factors and processes that can facilitate the decision-making.
(1) Do you like reading? (2) Do you actually read? (3) Do you read fiction, non-fiction, or both?
These three questions are quite good to learn about yourself.
As for myself, (1) I like reading because I am passionate about learning new things (otherwise, you will live only in your limited world). (2) As much as I would like to read, I haven’t been able to catch up with my book lists (although I read around 30 articles per week), because I use the limited time for other things. (3) I usually like non-fiction to gain more knowledge and life lessons from the real world.
But this time, I learned important life lessons when I went beyond my styleーreading a fiction book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho in its original language (Portuguese). As I believe some of the learning, if not all, can be beneficial for others, let me share in this post.
When I was a backpacker (10-15 years ago), I didn’t want to visit the same country I already went, as i wanted to know other contexts as much as possible. However, the more I travelled, the more I realized that it is quite difficult to generalize a country as each city, and sometimes each village has something different.
That’s why I decided to travel Morocco (where I went once) and managed to visit 5 major cities although I just had 4.5 days of vacation.
When I travel foreign country, the first 5 phrases I try to learn in their language are:
Hello, Thank you, I am sorry, where is the bathroom? How much is it?
This entry deals with the field of the last phrase, in particular exchange of money. Although each country has their own culture, almost every country has monetary system, and because of the globalization, there are more and more needs of traveling and using foreign currency.
However, exchanging money is not a easy task, thus it is quite normal not to know the best way. That’s why this entry will try to take you to the journey to explore on (1) How to read the money exchange table, (2) Exchanging from local to foreign currency and (3) Vise versa (from foreign to local currency) Continue reading →
The hard copy books and documents stay forever in your shelf, and you have not re-read them for many years and cannot carry due to the weights
Empty chelf, and you can carry and access to soft copy books anywhere any time
As a person who believes in the power of less, the answer was quite clear (the latter), but, I didn’t take action on this for years. Partly because I did not know how to do so (thought of having no time, but this is never the reason of not doing something).
This time, as mentioned in the previous entry, I wanted to organize my past by throwing out books and documents, so I decided to give it a try. And interestingly, it was not difficult to figure out how to do so, because the majority of people who scanned hard copy used the same items, and addressed high level of satisfaction, so why not learning from others?