The magical, mind altering things you learn when you travel abroad.

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.

things you learn travel abroad, and traveling outside your own country

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.

things you learn travel abroad, international travel outside your own country.

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.



    • says

      It is jumping way out of your comfort zone! I think we all need more of that! Wish you could lead us in some yoga on this mountain top!

    • says

      Cathy, thank you! Yes the view goes on forever, I truly could stay here sipping coffee for hours. I love relearning the fact that we are all basically the same.

    • says

      How can 2/3 of us not have passports? It is a better education that just about anything. I totally agree it would make us all more tolerant and less fearful!

    • says

      Leanne, The US like Australia is so young, it is mind altering to visit Europe and see how old and ancient everything is. I’m missing all my pets right now which is the hardest part of travel for me. I appreciate them even more when I go home.

  1. says

    I am getting ready to travel abroad this summer and I am very much looking forward to it. I think you are right – that getting out of my comfort zone is going to do me a world (well, at least on continent) of good.

  2. says

    Oh I wish I was there! My husband and I love travelling and exploring new places, however we haven’t been able to for the last two years and I HAVE ITCHY FEET! Travel brings so much to your life and everyone should try it at least once! Enjoy sipping your wine on the beautiful Greek island. I’m sure we are all jealous. Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty.
    sue recently posted…Be Brave & Be OpenMy Profile

  3. says

    I’ve never been out of this country, but I am dying to. I want to see so much of the world, but especially Ireland and London. I’ve always wanted to see them. Right now, I can’t travel because I take care of my momma. I just hope and pray that I’ll be able to one day, but not to soon.
    Rena McDaniel recently posted…6 Natural Remedies for IncontinenceMy Profile

    • says

      how refreshing that they are not as tabloid dependent as we are! I went to China once many years ago but would love to go back.

  4. says

    Remembering that we are basically all the same and realizing that our country is not the center of the universe are the biggies for me! I love how vulnerable, open, flexible, and eager travel makes us, and how enlightening it is to experience difference ways of life and perspectives. It has been more eye opening and educational to me than any other experience.
    Faye recently posted…Guest Post: Co-Parenting 50/50 – How One Family Makes it Work (Part 1)My Profile

    • says

      So agree! It makes you aware that the world we see each day is not THE world. It’s our small corner of the world. Like you, I’ve learned so much from travel and experiencing other worlds and cultures. It is the best education you can get.

    • says

      Traveling is such a gift. It does show you so many new places and gives you a better perspective on your own life and home too.

  5. says

    I live in Maine so it is very easy to do international travel – just cross the border into Canada. Even though so close to home, I still experience a different culture and learn things. Like how to translate speed limits from kilometers/hr to miles/hr to avoid a speeding ticket. We went to England too once and I LOVED it. I think Greece sounds beautiful. Enjoy!
    Molly STevens recently posted…Open the door to summertime!My Profile

  6. says

    Hey Rosie,

    I agree with everything you say here! International travel is amazing. I moved to Spain right out of college and never looked back, and while living in Europe I’ve been able to visit lots of places. I have friends from my hometown who have never left—something I’ll never understand. Now I have two kids and I hope to travel with them and show them as much of the world as possible. Great article! Greece is so beautiful!

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