Why do I travel so much?
It’s this feeling of complete HELPLESSNESS that you get when you exit the plane or train at a place you’ve NEVER been before. It’s the need to figure out how to get to your accommodation – by train or taxi or another way?
It’s the UNFAMILIAR SMELL of the air, people speaking a FOREIGN LANGUAGE or even dressing completely DIFFERENT than you. You might assume that everyone has already figured out that you’re NOT A NATIVE and that you might be easy to mess with. You have to be careful.
It’s this feeling that you get when you SEE things you’re not used to. People riding donkeys using them to transport goods. Women dressed in ALL BLACK, covering everything but their eyes while it’s 80 degrees outside and your forehead is collecting sweat drops. Old men with the deepest wrinkles playing chess on the street. COWS OR CAMELS where you’d expect cars. Buildings or trees which have witnessed centuries of history.
It’s the STRANGE SOUNDS that surround you while you walking down streets and alleys that you don’t know. The muezzin call at dusk. Men hissing at you because you look exotic and don’t blend in anymore. People yelling and screaming words you don’t understand or speaking to you in an ACCENTUATED English.
You can eat what you’ve never TASTED before. You can talk to STRANGERS and make friends who are not like you in a lot of ways because they grew up differently. You can be invited to their house, to a family dinner with a home-cooked meal.
You have to figure out what’s APPROPRIATE. You have to learn how to navigate. You have to trust your GUT. You have to ask strangers for help and sometimes put your life into their hands.
You learn about others. You learn about yourself. Your mind opens. Your heart opens. Your taste widens. You learn how to understand, to accept, to tolerate, to appreciate, to respect, to criticize, to love, things you used to see as DIFFERENT. Now you embrace them as part of life.
Because you realize you only know SO LITTLE about this world, you become humble. And you also become more inspired, more grateful, more educated and happy and you can share your knowledge, experiences, and joy with others. It will motivate them to explore this world themselves. You make a difference. You change the world.
This is why I travel.
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