Travel is easy and anyone can do it.
The trick to travel though
is doing it right,
and I don’t mean financially
or destination wise either.
The secret lies in the mindset.
For it’s easy to travel as a
When planning a trip my biggest fear is getting to a destination and not getting to experience the city itself. What I mean is that I’m afraid that I’ll get there and just see the sights and sounds and not experience the flavor of that city. For it’s easy to see the churches, museums, monuments and galleries, yet it’s much harder to walk away from from a city with a new world view rather then just a new photo album to put somewhere to collect dust. So to that I say travel as a scholar, explorer, and world citizen rather than a tourist.
I think sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of why we travel. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new place and forget to take a city in for what it is, rather than what it has to offer.
For going to a new city, country or continent for that mater is like stepping into a whole new world. As the great sociologist Herbert Spencer once said “The average opinion in every age and country is a function of that social structure in that age and country.” Now while that may sound a bit far fetched just think about it for a moment.
Every new place you go to has a different social, entertainment, and ideological stew that it’s citizens marinate in from the time of their birth. Now while it may be similar to your own, it is vastly different in many ways. And when one grows up in a different stew they develop differently then you. In the sense that they’re perception of the world may be slightly different from yours.
- GRAB THIS. Oh man take advantage of these different views, no matter how foreign or strange they may seem to you.
- DON’T let ethnocentrism scare you away from these views and perceptions, rather embrace them and learn from them! LET THEM help open your eyes to ideas and thoughts that you may never of had before.
- Expand your horizon and LEARN!
- This is why travel is the most invaluable investment you can make and truly is the investment that keeps giving back to you till the day you die. No matter how much cheese that statement has in it.
- Because for a moment of your life, no matter how brief it is you get to step outside yourself, your country, and your views and live!
Now don’t get me wrong, I know the world is now connected by technology like it never has been before in the history of man. Allowing for a more unified world identity, but the internet alone is not powerful enough to strip the world of all her beautiful colors and flavors.
I also don’t mean to say that your current views are wrong, insignificant, or incomplete by not traveling. All I am saying is that there’s always room for more knowledge, and the breadth of your vision can never be too wide.
So how can you do this? Well I’m not exactly an expert but…
Travel as a Scholar
Learn where ever you go. Research a place before you go there so you can appreciate it more, and that way the blade of culture shock is not so sharp.
Learn the history of where you are, for how do you what something is if you don’t know how it got there or where it came from? That way you can also appreciate the sheer awesomeness of the square you may be standing in or the monument you’re positioned under. History gives life to those things that are dead and gone. That way you know why the Eiffel tower or whatever it is is there. Rather than it’s just some cool crazy pointy thing that you’ve seen all your life and it’s suppose to be some symbol of greatness and romance.
Appreciate everything and leave no stone unturned. The more you know and understand all the threads that make a place special, then the more beautiful the mosaic is once you leave.
Travel as an Explorer
Venture down alleyways that are off the beaten track. The further you get away from where all the tourists are the closer you get to discovering something new.
Don’t be afraid to go into a store that looks strange, or talk to a stranger. For once you leave there who knows when you’ll be back. And when you look back on that time you’ll hate yourself for not having had the guts to do something that you may have thought fun or exciting at the time but were to timid to engaged in.
GET OUT THERE AND LIVE!
Travel as a World Citizen
All I mean by this is wherever you go be happy and know you belong there. You live on this earth like every other person out there, and we’re all made of the same stuff.
Sure we’re separated by languages, religion, nations, rivers, oceans, and ideas, but when you boil all that stuff away we’re all the same, so travel like it. Enjoy where you are and be happy. You’re whole life has led up to that moment so live it and don’t let it slip by unnoticed.
So next time you go somewhere remember to live. And before you look through some viewfinder on your camera ask yourself if you’d rather live in that moment, or capture it with some piece of technology that’ll just produce a piece of paper that’ll go into some old dusty photo album.