Traveling is one thing that many people do not get to do, but they should. Traveling in itself gives you the opportunity to not only explore different countries, but different cultures as well. It is not easy for outsiders to begin to understand the differences in cultures, until you experience it for yourself.
From Humble Beginnings
When I was younger, I grew up very poor, which is something that I have discussed before here on my blog, and being poor comes with limitations. I saw many different parts of the world on television and just knew that I would never get to see them. It seemed to be the stuff that you only dream of.
Fast forward several years and I’ve had the opportunity to not only travel across the country – including Hawaii – but also across the world. I’ve been to France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Amsterdam, China, Ireland, Turkey, Mexico, and many spots in the Caribbean. Those of you who have been following along also know that I took a trip to Israel in December – traveling only with a backpack.
Open your Eyes to Different Cultures
It is understandable to blink twice or raise an eyebrow when questioning the various cultures that we hear about on television or in the newspaper. I can honestly say that in order to really see how these cultures live, it is necessary to open up your eyes as well as your mind. Once you have the opportunity to experience these cultures firsthand, and open up your mind to the reasons why they live the way they do, only then can you begin to understand why they believe what they do.
Mark Twain was quoted saying, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” I would agree.
Traveling has been a real eye-opening experience for me and it has afforded me the luxury of experiencing different cultures firsthand. It is an opportunity that I am thankful for, and one that you will be thankful for, too.
Famous Last Words
One of the most inspiring quotes that I’ve heard in regards to traveling came from Anthony Bourdain at the end of his No Reservations series:
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”