The benefits of traveling are endless. What better way to learn about other cultures, peoples, religions, histories, foods, and lifestyles than through first-hand experience. Traveling and experiencing the world also teaches us a lot about ourselves as well. I wanted to share with you, 5 things traveling teaches us about the world in hopes of inspiring you to finally take that international trip you’ve always wanted to take or just to remind you why traveling rocks.
Traveling teaches us that…
There is kindness and love in the world.
In today’s world, there is a lot of negativity that we are constantly bombarded with by the news and media. It brings fear to the forefront and it is hard to ignore. This has instilled a lot of fear in society to travel and experience different cultures and peoples, but I promise, there is kindness, love, and compassion in this world. Some of the people you meet traveling may become friends for life. You will experience acts of kindness along your travels that will fill your heart with hope again. You just have to be open to receiving the love.
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The world is a lot smaller than you’d think.
It absolutely blows my mind that somehow when you are in a different country or even on the other side of the world, you will still run into somebody you know! How is that possible?! Or you will meet someone who knows your friend, family member, or colleague. That is a phenomenon I will never understand, but I think it is meant to show you that the world is a lot smaller than you think. We are all connected in some way.
Communication is not just verbal.
There comes a point when you realize that you’ve somehow managed to navigate and fulfill your daily needs in a completely different country, and that’s because you can get your point across even if you don’t speak the native language. Communication is not all about verbalizing everything, but more about your body language and learning to become the listener. Make sure to spend some time with the native peoples of your destination, even if it is just to sit with them, share food, or look at pictures. Learn to observe and listen and maybe learn a thing or two! In order to learn how to make a delicious native dish, you don’t have to speak, you just have to watch and listen!
It is also amazing when you realize that English really is the universal language. It’s incredible to see say two people from Spain and France or from China and Japan, communicating in English. It is very evident how important the English language is.
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A little goes a long way.
I’ve always loved this saying, but it really is true in the context of traveling in a different country. The locals sincerely appreciate when a foreigner respects their country, culture, and language enough to learn maybe even just a few customs or basic words/phrases. For example, if locals are really exposed to tourists they may not be so keen to interact with you, but if you speak a few words in their language their attitude towards you will completely change! They will be so happy if you merely try your best. Furthermore, a smile or a wave goes a long way too. Be open and friendly and you will be well received.
Where ever you visit, stop in at the worship centers, chapels, churches, temples, mosque …… Take in the culture and see that everyone is praying for the same things you are. Love, relationships, health and prosperity. If you can, leave a donation so the worship centers can help the people in the area. (I do this when I travel and try to find a charity, church or something to leave a donation. This supports the area’s most needy and reminds us how fortunate we are to travel when others are just trying to survive.)
We are more alike than different.
In the grand scheme of things, we are all just human beings. We all have emotions, needs, and desires. We often try to categorize people around us or think of ourselves as so different, but really we are all moving through life at the same speed and just trying to get on. There are so many different ways of living, worshipping, eating, dancing, and more, but aren’t we all do the same things? Embrace all sorts of people and learn from them, because we all have stories to share.
If you have the chance and the means, seize the opportunity and travel! You will see that It is a lot easier than people make it out to be. It is a matter of just committing to a time frame and a destination and making it happen. Sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on, but there is always some sort of growth you experience from traveling. When you return home, you will feel different, maybe a lot different or just a little. You will notice it shine through in different ways and you will be so grateful for those stories and experiences. I will be going to Bali at the end of the summer, who’s joining the journey?