Yes, we’re all jealous of your trip to Cancun. Wow, you went to Paris? We wish we could have eaten macaroons under the Eiffel Tower. Oh, ANOTHER story about how you touched the seven seas and explored the back alleys of another famous city?
Don’t get me wrong, I want to do ALL of those wonderful things but I can’t tell if you’re bragging right now or if you’re genuinely moved by everything you did while abroad.
There are several different kinds of travelers who explore the world for many different reasons.
The one that I’m not too fond of? Bragging rights. People who travel the world simply to say that they did. The ones who aren’t abroad to learn about culture, experience new customs and get to know a different kind of crowd.
Travel is so much more than a checkmark off of your bucket list. WHY did you want to see Paris? Because it’s popular? Sure. Also because of the historical monuments and culture you can find hidden between the tightly squeezed apartments? HELL yeah!
You should go to a new place with an open mind and expectation of embracing something new. If you are going to keep to yourself in a new country- all you are seeing is new scenery but did you really get a feel for what that country has to offer? Not as much as you could of I bet.
Try new food, do an activity the locals consider normal and try to learn a little bit of the language if you can. Putting yourself in a country isn’t going to be worth while if you don’t try to absorb the culture while you’re there.
Here’s a few things you can do to make sure you aren’t just traveling to say you did. Don’t travel to brag, travel to grow.
1. Google search some history. It doesn’t matter if it’s five or ten minutes, look into the uniqueness of wherever you are going. This will make you appreciate the area and most likely help you with some customary actions the citizens part take in.
2. When you’re there, be open to spontaneous decisions. Trying ants? Sure. Gondola ride? Sure! Take the moment and go for it.
3. Talk with locals if possible. The best way to learn about a country is from the people who live there. Ask them where the best restaurants are and what the best meal to eat is. Be safe while doing so.
This will get you started. Be on your way traveler and dive deeper than just another stamp on your passport. Travel to grow as an individual and learn more than you could have expected!