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An uncle’s crazy travel advice

by Aurora Brink

This letter, written by a crazy uncle for his 3-year-old nephew sums up worldly wisdom, wittiness and pretty much everything else that an uncle should teach his nephew. Justin is an American, who discovers his passion for travelling at the age of 21 and merely 3 years later has already visited 51 countries and 6 continents. Here is his letter:

Hello Lincoln!

We have never met, but I’d like to introduce myself. I am your crazy uncle Justin. When you are old enough, I’ll be the one you hear your parents talk about, when they ask, “Where the hell is he now?”. But don’t you worry. Just know that I am in some faraway strange place, trying to discover myself. Besides, you can always think of me, whenever you watch the National Geographic Channel.  

When you were born I was in Colombia. I tried to get your parents to come over, but they are sort of boring. That is why you are now an official citizen of the USA and the state of Minnesota. On your first birthday I was in Australia and on your second – in Bulgaria. What I mean is that there is a reason I am not around you as much as I’d like to be and this is probably how the future is going to unfold as well. See, it’s not my fault, it’s just that I suffer from a rare disease called “wanderlust”. The only way to stop the itch is to scratch it. And so here I am now in Estonia.

Still, I cannot allow insignificant obstacles, such as strolls to the other end of the world, to diverge me from my duty as an uncle. That is why today, here and now, just for you and with great pleasure, I will share with you the main things I have learned about life.

Alright, here we go.

- The first thing I’d like to tell you is to never defer your happiness to a later date. It is never guaranteed, so do everything that makes you smile right now!  

Never forget to bring toilet paper when you are traveling around the world!

- I know you are only 3 but remember: Russian and Irish women are crazy and only half of them in a good way.

- Love your mom and dad because you might need their support and blessing for your crazy ambitions later on in life. Convincing them that hitchhiking to Africa is a good thing would be so much easier if you were a good kid. Actually, come to think of it…they might want to get rid of you faster, if you’ve been a bad kid. Hm, let’s leave this one for later.

- Question everything! Never take anybody else’s opinion to hear, no matter how authoritative that person may be. Ask, research, explore, dream! Wise is not the one who has lived long, but the one who has seen a lot. If the media says that Mexico is dangerous – pack your bags and go there! Be brave, but not careless.

- Travel enriches the mind. It helps you broaden your horizons and strengthen your character. Don’t forget that "Terviseks" means “Cheers” in Estonian!

- The American educational system it terrible. So don’t count on it too much, but rather learn on your own. If I’ve inspired you for a trip around the world, my advice would be to start learning Spanish and French. You’ll thank me later. Which brings me to my next tip…

- Girls love it when you are able to speak their language. With this skill you are already on another level!

- Faith does not exist. Draw it out for yourself and don’t leave it in the hands of others.

- Despite of what you’ll hear at every turn, travelling can be more than vacationing – it can be a lifestyle. Learn, explore, experience!

- Don’t drink the water in Bolivia, don’t get drunk in Latvia, don’t buy souvenirs at the airport and don’t get an angry penguin as a pet.

I guess that’s it for now. Now go. Live your life! I’ll be somewhere around, waiting for you to grow up, with a glass of vodka in my hand, so that I can say "На здоровье" to you!
With love,
Your crazy uncle Justin