The magical, mind altering things you learn when you travel abroad.
Travel, especially international travel is life altering, mind expanding magic that everyone should experience. How do I know this? I’m writing this sitting atop the ancient cliffs of Santorini, Greece with the sparkling blue Aegean Sea glittering below. (Did I mention, I’m also sampling a nice glass of the local white Akrotiri wine grown on the island?) Yes, it IS as gorgeous as it sounds, and yes it IS someplace you need to go. This place is magical.
But aside from the magic of this Greek island destination, international travel is a form of magic all its own no matter where you travel. Travel outside your own country is magical. It makes you a better person.
Here are just a few of the magical, kick ass things you learn when you travel abroad. Grab your passport and travel abroad, here’s why.
You get a little uncomfortable. Which is a good thing.
International travel takes you way outside your comfort zone. The food is different, the sounds, the smell, hell even, the way the toilet flushes is different. Travel tests you. Dares you to try something new. You sample a new food. Try a different wine. Learn how to flush a toilet with instructions written only in Greek.
You step outside your own little world for a few days. Talk about creating new brain connections. You, your brain and your soul are all the better for it.
You Remember We Are All Pretty Much The Same.
I was sitting in the Athens airport waiting for my connecting flight when I heard my familiar iPhone ring tone. I reflexively reached for my purse, but it wasn’t my phone. It was his. The man speaking Italian over there. Different country, same phone. Same ring tone.
Yesterday, I was discussing the pain of parenting a constantly online teenaged daughter with my Greek cabdriver. Teens the world over are pretty much the same.
Travel abroad makes you realize that while we make speak different languages, we are ALL pretty much the same. We are parenting a teen, parent, going to work, trying our best. We are all just people. Travel makes you realize we all share the same hopes, dreams, and difficulties. And now iPhones.
You, And Your Country, are Not the Center of the Universe.
Trapped in our own little news cycle at home you forget how large the world is. How many people. How many languages there are. We are but a little bitty blip on the map, my friend.
When you’re at home it’s easy to forget that the world you experience each day isn’t the entire world. Not everyone thinks the same way you do. Speaks the same language or drinks their coffee the same way you do.
Getting out of your country reminds you of the enormity of the world, and the diversity of thought, of opinion that exists across cultures. Travel abroad reminds you that you are not All that. You may feel important, but head to another country, experience an ancient culture, stumble through a different language and you are reminded that you are a speck in time. Travel to another country and culture reminds you, you ain’t all that.
So what are you waiting for, grab your passport, hit the road, jump on a plane and get the hell out of your own country for a week or so.Try a new food, learn how to operate a Greek toilet. Who knows the things you learn when you travel abroad.
You, your brain, your soul, and your world will all be better, and a little more magical for it.