Traveling is like a slap in the face. It is realizing, that you’ve been wrong about so many things for so long. But it is so liberating! So far, I have done a pretty good job at discovering other cultures by traveling for fun, to volunteer, to study abroad, to experience it solo and the list goes on. Right now I am planning a trip to Costa Rica and another one to Brazil! What can I say, the travel bug bites hard. In my opinion, traveling is one of the best teachers. It teaches you to look at everything from a different angle and accept the fact that everything is not always as it seems to be. There are different ways traveling can open your mind:
1- You learn that there’s no such thing as ‘normal’
In life in general. we tend to automatically reject what is different from what we are used to. If something or someone acts, dresses or speaks differently than the way we do, we automatically set them apart. It’s like our ways are the normal way and everything else is a particular case. I recently attended a latin dancing night and while I was sitting on the table with 2 other people, we saw this ‘weird guy’ who came and sat next to us. He was acting weird and we all share the same thought: “That guy is weird” But then i stopped for a moment to think “How can we know we are not the weird ones?” We are all programmed to identify whats normal and what is not but at the end of the day, who puts these standards together anyways? Now, I know that in this case, the guy was probably really weird but what of we take this to a general or cultural level. While we have been programmed by our society to decide what’s normal and what’s not, traveling will expose you to different people, different ways of seeing and doing things. And in the middle of it all, you will realize that maybe your way is not the ‘normal way’
2- You question things
Life is about learning, unlearning and relearning. A life without revision quiets the soul. By seeing new things, you come to a point where you question things, which is the best way to learn. You have no idea how much a “What if” can open your mind to many lessons of life. The world is full of resources. All it needs you to do is question, be open to learning new things, to admitting that you were wrong about this and that. Traveling will definitely teach you how to do that.
3- You are more exposed to human interactions
We often tend to have our own little group of friends, our list of familiar faces and anybody else just falls in the category of people we wouldn’t randomly talk to. We, as humans are often limiting our interactions with other human beings. Traveling (especially solo or with a significant other) will expose you to other travellers who might turn out to be great company! You will learn to talk to strangers, eat out with a group where each person is from a part of the globe, to laugh at the confusion created by all the different accents, to learn more about other countries and talk more about yours. This is definitely a great experience for it teaches you how to socialize more and value a good conversation!
4- You will make of learning an habit
Because traveling exposes you to so many differences, you will want to know more, learn more and do more. You will realize that it is the best way to learn. So don’t be surprise if after a good trip, you find yourself searching for plane tickets on your free time! It truly becomes an addiction. You will no longer feel comfortable by knowing what your culture wants you to see, you will always seek new adventures, new ways of loving the world and this will make you richer.
5- You will start to truly LIVE
Traveling will make you hate your comfort zone! You will experience the “What have I been doing with my life” effect. It’s like, you finally realize that life, the real life is not concentrated where you are and you start to truly enjoy your life to the fullest because you will not only enjoy things more but also because you will see the world with different eyes.
So, dear readers, it might be time to plan your next trip
A travel lover