“Please do not make Tonga a means to an end, a sentence of sorts until its all over with and you can return to your homeland. Australia felt like a prison before and now it seems like a comfortable prison you want to go back too. Enjoy Tonga , its people for as “under privileged” as it may seem. It is now your teacher, a life teacher. Australia is now more beautiful than ever. Tonga has shown you this. Give thanks and gratitude for all new perceptions. “

A message from my older brother in of sorts from Hawaii. Jay’s advice rang true. Stronger than the church bells which woke me at 4.30 am, adding to the list of reasons of why I was wishing I was still at home.

Hearing the term ‘life  teacher’ invited me to reflect on the periods in my life where I actually had teachers, and how the different types would change how lessons were learnt, if at all.

I was terrible student at times but an excellent clown, unable to resist distractions, or becoming one myself. The times where I learned the most, and reformed my act, was due to the  strictness and discipline of certain teachers. If I felt the consequences were real, then so would be my response.

Thus, this is the teacher life has become. Watching me journey from primary to university education, it has had the time to prepare a curriculum destined to lead me over the rift in one’s development that the end of scheduled education creates, and towards my full potential.

The destain I once expressed towards my teachers eventually turned to gratitude as the value of their lessons was realised.  However, as an older student off ‘life’,  certain expectations are a prerequisite of the class. Specifically an appreciation of any discomfort and challenge that is realistically within my capabilities to overcome. These circumstances are reflective of a well devised lesson and an even accomplished teacher.

For some life is too easy, or too hard. Both prevent what is referred to as the only progress that counts. That of the  internal, our self-esteem. The acceptance, confidence and understanding in one’s abilities. Without it, even if your external progress is a high paying job or  a celebrity lifestyle, it’s almost impossible to be satisfied and happy.

So here I am, thankful. Thankful for the perception on my life back home that the harsh contrasts has given me. Thankful that while working in a unfamiliar market may prove challenging, I have an excellent support network to provide me with resources and confidence.

Thankful for all the challenges I’ve overcome in the past, and the lessons I’ve learned from them. Also of course,  thankful for the lessons I know I’m going to learn.





Tags : international travellife changemindfullnessMotivationoptimisimPhilosophypositive thinkingproductivitypsychologyquotessouth pacifictongatravelvolunteering


  1. A willingness to learn and be changed is the most powerful catalyst that can drive a person toward growth. Great quote and excellent insights. Good luck on your journey.

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