May 30, 2023

Three life lessons from traveling the world | Jonathan Ljungkvist | TEDxLundUniversity

Published May 17, 2023, 8:20 a.m. by Arrik Motley

In his TEDx talk, Jonathan Ljungkvist shares three life lessons he's learned from traveling the world.

1. Be open to new experiences

When we travel, we're often confronted with new and unfamiliar experiences. It can be easy to close ourselves off to these things, but Ljungkvist urges us to be open to them instead.

2. Don't be afraid to fail

When we're out of our comfort zones, it's natural to feel like we're going to fail. But Ljungkvist says that's okay. In fact, it's through these failures that we often learn the most about ourselves and the world around us.

3. Embrace the unknown

Part of the beauty of travel is that it takes us to places we've never been before. Rather than being afraid of the unknown, Ljungkvist says we should embrace it.

These are just a few of the many lessons Ljungkvist has learned from his travels. By keeping an open mind and embracing the unknown, we can all learn a lot about ourselves and the world around us.

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now I feel good guess you look so kind a

couple of years ago I was on this

cycling journey from Sweden to Africa to

Tanzania with my friend Marcus 8,000

kilometers and don't ask me why but

during this trip

we heard that Ethiopia Ethiopia is going

to be the toughest country to to cycle

through we're talking about mountain

peaks 3000 meters up 3000 meters down

3000 meters up 3000 meters down wild

dogs running around with rabies and we

also heard that some cyclists were

attacked by children who was throwing

rocks so I I was scared of entering at

the opium and the moment we crossed in

the moment we crossed the border to

Ethiopia the stone started to come and I

asked couldn't understand why why were

people throwing rocks at us why were

people seemed to to hate us and I

remember one day we were we were way out

in a bush on this small road and in

front of us this quite tall guy was

standing there and he was looking angry

with a stone in his hand and I realized

he's gonna throw that stone on me so I

was screaming to him la la which means

no so he changed his direction and

throwed the stone on my friend Marcos

and with a big boom it hit markers but

he kept back up and kept on cycling and

then five minutes later a small minibus


mark is from the road so he got down in

a big ditch and I was feeling sorry for

my friend of course but at the same time

I was thinking I'm happy I'm not Marcus

today but this this anger with with

frustration started to build up inside

me and I told myself the next one the

next one who throws a rock at me I will

fight and five minutes later with quite

small guy boy were standing there with a

stone in his hand and I said to myself

if that little boy throws that rock I

will have a fairly chance of that one

that one I will fight but he did not so

I shifted my focus from that little boy

and and when I got a stone in my neck so

I stopped and my bike would pump so I

run up to this little boy took him with

my left hand tense my right hand and all

of my body were screaming hitting

Yonatan hit him and when I looked him in

the eyes is this little boy and I asked

myself Jonathan what are you doing I

watched him in the eyes and when I

smiled and when I gave him some candy

and he started to smile and he said

something to his friends so they came

and the story ends with that they pushed

me up for a hill for two hours

and my friend mark is for cycling next

and and after two hours he was asking

hey can you push me also and one of the

small kids looked at Marcus and say no

too big I laughed so hard that day a

couple of days after that situation I I

realized that I had many things in

common with this little boy I mean we

had the same hearts we have the same

connections in our brains but we have

been raised with different beliefs that

little boy wasn't born with a belief to

hate cyclists he acquired that belief

from his friends and their actions but

what I've learned is what one smile can

change a belief one word can change a

belief but the most powerful tool to

change a belief is actions the moment

you decide to follow your dream to live

your passion you will inspire other

people to change their beliefs because

of your actions and that was the first

thing I've learned during my university

time out in the world that was the first

lesson but the belief can be changed are

you guys ready for two more raise your

hands oh good that would suck if if that

would be the opposite the second lesson

I've learned also happened in Africa

2016 I was working as a mountain guide

at Mount Kilimanjaro

people up to the summit of Africa 5,895

metres above sea level and one day my

boss called me and I said Jonathan I

would like you to guide this woman her

name is Mariana and I said sure no


and he said Jonathan she's blind oh all

right I remember first time I saw her I

was in Tanzania at the swimming pool and

and she was coming towards me and she

was walking in this space and I said to

myself that's gonna be impossible

she's never gonna make it it's it is not

possible she's blind and when I spoke

with her she had the kindest heart so I

said to myself she deserved for Schams

she deserve a chance so the day after

that we started the expedition and at

the beginning Mariana was feeling strong

we were we were singing we were dancing

the song Jambo Jambo Bwana

habari Gani nursery Sun way gave me I

loved it

I don't think I was that good of a guide

one day Mariana she felt into this big

hole and I was screaming to her me Jana

watch out where he put your feet don't

say that to a blind person that's not


that's not leadership and her but they

they free she she was affected by the

high altitude

she was feeling weaker and she didn't

eat much she didn't drink and he was

going a bit down and we were way up we

were up at 4,500 meters and and that day

she sat down we had the clouds beneath

us and and the Sun was going down and

then she said Jonathan it's so beautiful

here it's so beautiful and I was

standing there asking myself how can she

say that when she's blind because she

can't see and then she answered my

thoughts by saying Jonathan even if I

can't see it I can feel it can you feel

it Jonathan and I was standing where and

looking but to be honest I didn't feel

so took a couple of deep breath

when I watched the clouds some I felt

the wind and then I started to feel I

felt gratitude I felt happiness I felt

presence I realized that in my life I'm

always on the rush always on the go at

Mariana she taught me to stop and feel

not only to look like I'm doing now

would you guys I look at you

but I feel the energy of hunger I feel

the energy of love I feel the energy of

people who won't change that's what I

feel and that was the second thing I've

learned from traveling the world so even

if Mariana is not here can we give her a

big applaud the first thing I've learned

brings us to Australia have anyone in

here done Vasaloppet before raise your

hand okay Vasa lapis is the longest

skiing race in Sweden but I thought

that's easy so let's go to our stray

line instead and cross Australia on a

pair of roller skis with us with a child

carrier on my on my back that was insane

our Australia is a beach country it's


if you look at the map it's like it's

like very tiny but it's huge

don't go there for skiing I just had to

say that before I continue but the first

half of this expedition I was in charge

I had Marcus with me also on this trip

but I was in charge of the first half so

we did 40 to 50 kilometres every day and

that was fine at the evening we could

relax we could swim and we can just

enjoy yourself but the second half of

the expedition Marcus was in charge and

he is one of the fittest guys I've ever

met his arms are like my legs really

strong so he wanted to do 90 kilometres

every day for free

REITs he's crazy

the most important thing I had was my

phone because my phone was my connection

to the love of my life in Sweden to my

family and to my friends so every

evening at camp I was lying in my tent

and skyping and there I got my energy

but one late evening at camp I realized

that I lost my phone

after skiing 90 kilometres so I said to

Marcus Marcus I need to go back mark is

a man Jonathan it's dark you will never

find your phone

don't do it we have 90 kilometers

tomorrow don't go back I didn't listen

to turn started ski back one hour past

two hours past and and then I was

completely exhausted after skiing

hundred and twenty kilometers standing

we're in the desert of Australia and it

started to rain Louis and then I found

my phone I found my phone and I was

standing there in the desert and

screaming how great I was

and it was absurd and then I and then I

had to ski back all the way it was four

o'clock at night all the way back to

Marcus and the only thing I kept on

repeating is me in my head was I don't

have to any of you to put up my tent I

don't have the energy to put up my

mattress put out my sleeping bag I want

to sleep in a ditch because I will only

have one hour tonight and then I will do

another like 90 kilometres because of my

stupid friend but when I got back to


Marcus said pair up my tent

my Madras was out my sleeping bag was

out and for Marquess fat that was a

small thing to do that was a small jet

but for me that meant the world and that

day I've learned that small things do

matters they matters for you and they

matters for others and they matters for

the world we are gathered here today

because we want to change the world is

facing many challenges especially the

nature so who is going to save the world

who's going to save the nature well I

believe it's the one who will change our

beliefs it's the one who will make us

feel and it's the one who will inspire

us to do small things for a long period

of time that person might save the world

so today I'm talking to you do you is

sitting home with a great ID I say

stepped forward because I will follow

and many others will too because I want

my children's children's children to see

what I have seen the world is a

beautiful place my name is Jonathan

thank you so much for your time



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