No, this is not a suicide note. This is a gratitude note. The one I want to leave now so that at the end of it all, my list of unfinished things doesn’t contain a line saying ‘didn’t thank my parents enough’.

Mom, thanks to you, I feel the luckiest girl on Earth and I want to get it out now, once and for all.

Because contrary to the logical development, traveling isn’t becoming safer from day to day. With the increase of political disturbances nowadays, the terror attacks (or whatever they really are) have become so random, that it is hard to reduce the risk by simply not visiting the dangerous destinations. As I am writing this, another attack is happening in the world (today it was London) and another dozen of discriminating regulations is being passed by world leaders (this week it’s been UK and USA). Therefore, when I am traveling, I have to factor in the risk of being a subject to some sort of cliche accident or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And you know, mom, that traveling is not something I am willing to give up simply because the world decided to go crazy. My curiosity for the unseen worlds and cultures still overcomes all those dangers that media feeds to us daily. I know that every time I announce some new adventure your response is ‘Again? When are going to be done and just settle down?’. And I am sorry if it makes you feel worried, but this is just the way I chose to live.

luckiest girl on earth

Sitting on the Tongue of Troll in Norway

My bucket and to do lists might be endless, as, you know, I can always find something new to keep myself busy with, but it doesn’t mean that what I’ve already done is not enough. Now is already more than enough. I absolutely realize that even now, at 28 years of age, I have gotten more experiences than many people will have in their lifetime and I am endlessly grateful for that.

I saw elephants, crocodiles, and monkeys right in front of me in their natural wild habitat in Malaysia, I drank champagne watching Moulin Rouge show in Paris, I hiked one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway, I’ve reached the highest peak of Panama, and have been to concerts of my favorite music bands. How can I not be grateful for what I’ve already gotten?

Luckiest Girl on Earth Crocodile in Malaysia

Spotting a crocodile in Kinabatangan river valley in Malaysia

All of this wouldn’t be possible without your endless love and support, regardless of my stupid or risky decisions that make you lose sleep at night. You have always been there for me and I want you to know that I value that every step of the way.

A post shared by Lena Tarasyuk (@travelmonkeycom) on

Life is happening now and I am taking the opportunity to acknowledge the happiness at this very moment instead of still waiting for it to happen to me in the future. I’ll never regret my choices in life and I am happy with every bit and struggle I have taken so far.

Dear mom, if anything happens to me, don’t be regretful and don’t be sorry. Instead, be happy that I was able to live the life I wanted.


9 comments… add one
  • Dinah 25 Mar 2017, 4:52 pm

    Beautiful gratitude post. I can totally relate. When I was in Panama a couple of weeks ago, I message my mum on my birthday to thank her for bringing me to this world for similar reasons to yours. We are very lucky indeed!

  • Sabrina Barbante 25 Mar 2017, 4:54 pm

    Great and sweet post. And was about to cry when you wrote that you won’t give up Travelling just because the world decided to go mad. I feel less lonely!

    • Lena 27 Mar 2017, 8:58 pm

      you are definitely not alone. keep on going!

  • Brigitta 25 Mar 2017, 4:56 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful thoughts <3
    Brigitta recently posted…Is Troy real?My Profile

  • Melissa 25 Mar 2017, 5:05 pm

    Wow! I love this! I feel exactly the same! And I have pretty much the same conversations with my Dad!

    Super inspiring and keep travelling!

    I’m also out there, unstoppable!
    Melissa recently posted…Dream Villa Holiday Destinations To Make Your 2017 EpicMy Profile

    • Lena 27 Mar 2017, 8:57 pm

      Unstoppable girl power 🙂

  • Shealyn 25 Mar 2017, 5:18 pm

    Wow. I really love this. It’s exactly the way I feel about traveling and how my mom feels about it. I may borrow the idea and write an open letter to my mom. ❤
    Shealyn recently posted…The Road to Mahannah’s CabinMy Profile

    • Lena 27 Mar 2017, 8:56 pm

      Yes, do it! My mom was more alarmed than delighted by this letter, but she understood what I was trying to say. I think yours will get it too.

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