So I discovered this blog piece via a friend’s Facebook post, a friend I actually met through traveling. This piece really struck me because I often struggle to find the right things to say when people ask me why I travel, how does it benefit me more than buckling down and working on my career. Brianna Wiest‘s list is 16 great examples of how I have benefited, and continue to benefit from the gift of travel.
Have you ever felt as though you were more (for lack of a better word) mature than a majority of your friends? Even as a passing thought? I know I have, and I also know that it’s not true; I just have a different way of thinking due to my traveling. I could analyze every single bullet point in her post and how I can relate to it, but instead I’ll just elaborate on my favorite. 🙂
The way you were raised isn’t the only way. Immersing yourself in one culture shows you that the standards you’re holding yourself to are subjective.
I love, love, LOVE this point. This is probably my all time favorite part of traveling, having my social norms challenged and experiencing culture shock again and again. When you are so out of your normal environment you are forced to reevaluate your standards on almost a daily basis. This is something that I’ve carried on into my every day life, and I can’t imagine it being any other way. Sticking to just one way of doing things? What a drag! The great thing about living in an incredibly diverse city like Houston is that I can experience this culture shock every day if I really wanted to! It’s no secret to my friends and family that I am directionally challenged, I have lived in Houston my entire life and I still rely on GPS to get me places. When I’m feeling adventurous I chuck the GPS out the window (figuratively speaking of course) and try to navigate myself to my final destination. 90% of the time I make it there, the other 10% I just end up woefully lost and running back to my GPS pleading for mercy. That 90% success rate has led me to discover wonderful art installations throughout the city, eat at incredible restaurants, and provided some of the best people watching opportunities, i.e. Juan Carlos, who you may recognize from AMGT. You don’t have to travel far to experience these things, just allow yourself to be open to doing things completely different for an entire day and see where it takes you.
I’d love to hear about an experience you had while traveling or getting lost that really made you rethink the way you approach things. Feel free to leave your thoughts 🙂