This time last year I was in Madagascar. Madagascar was a rocky trip for me. I struggled a lot and was sick a lot but, and I know this is super cheesy, it forced me to learn a lot. The biggest thing I learned was the power of mindset.
I went to Madagascar to dive, but after getting sick and getting a gnarly ear infection I was stuck on land. I had to make the conscious effort every day to get up and out of my hut and find things to fill my time. I did a whole lot of turtle watches and I was always ready for a beach clean. I even made sure to approach tasks like data entry or cleaning out the dive equipment storage with a positive, ready to go attitude because what other choice did I have? Lay in bed in my hut and be absolutely miserable? I had done that enough when I was actually sick. All that staying in bed and feeling sorry for myself would have done was make me more homesick than I already was and make me more anxious than I already was.
By choosing each day to fill my time, be productive, and remain eager about the cards I was dealt I became in control about how the end of my trip would be.
Mindset is something that takes constant effort to navigate. There’s days here at home where I find myself struggling to push past whatever gloom I find myself in and flip the script. I like to think back to Madagascar because at the time I felt like I had no choice, I was struggling mentally and physically, and so my only choice was to push myself to be positive. When I need to put myself into a better mood and mindset Madagascar is the perfect reminder of what I have been able to push my mind to do in the past.
Bonus lesson! An extremely common Malagasy phrase is "Mora Mora" meaning slowly, slowly. It's a good reminder to stop rushing around, don't be in a hurry and you don't always need to be going a million miles a minute, something I think we all could benefit from remembering more ofter.