Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Why you should go - Post grad life: Month 6

This past month, the world was shaken by the tragedy of the attacks in Paris, a rapidly growing refugee crisis, and even more violence on the streets of our own hometowns, among other issues. Seeing these events on the news is scary, and can make it difficult to even leave our house in the morning. They can also make us think twice about booking trips to those amazing places that our heart yearns for: dream vacations, numbered points on our bucket lists, ancestral roots, cities filled with history, etc.

Tragedies like the terrorist attacks in Paris can happen anywhere at any time, and there is no way to ensure that we avoid them completely, even if we never leave our hometown again. Events like this are meant to scare us; They're meant to make us think twice about being in crowded places and big cities... but we cannot afford to live our lives in fear. We must continue to live fully and boldly. The only things we can do are to stay vigilant, be smart, and enjoy the time we have been given to explore, learn, and grow. I believe that the best way to do this is to see as much of the world as we can and take in every new experience with an open mind.

If you have followed along with my blog, you will know that I am a huge proponent of travel, whether it be a daytrip to a new town, a hike to new heights, a trip across the country, or a move to a new hemisphere. You will never regret or forget the things that you learned about the world or about yourself while traveling. 

Travel empowers us. It has the power to take us out of our element, show us another perspective, and gives us the opportunity to adapt and grow. Whether we crumble or thrive in this new environment and new experience is up to us, but I promise that you will come out of every trip with greater knowledge and appreciation of the world we live in. Go see it for yourself. 

The experience of being a foreigner is unforgettable, and it has the potential to teach us more about ourselves than we ever imagined would be possible. If you have never had the opportunity to be in a new place, surrounded by a different culture and language that you do not speak, then I suggest you book a trip or find some other way to immerse yourself immediately. The beauty of being out of your element is that you are exposed to unearthed facets of yourself. You may just find that you are more independent, bold, and resourceful than you thought. 

English speakers are spoiled by the fact that most of the world has catered to us by learning our language. It is definitely convenient, but it has also caused us to become lazy and (usually) unintentionally arrogant, which sometimes rubs locals the wrong way. We should not let the fear of not being understood hold us back from exploring. Being in new situations where we must put forth effort and creativity to communicate, shows us the beauty of human race. And despite terrorist threats and reports of violence abroad, you may likely come across humanity in its purest form: people helping people. A local, elderly gentleman may notice that you are lost on the streets of Budapest, and point you in the right direction of the river without even speaking a word of the same language... it happens! And these little moments tend to overshadow the bad, because they prove that there are still good people in this world and not all strangers are scary. 

For the most part, negative experiences we have while traveling, whether they be nerves, lost baggage, or becoming the victim of pick-pocketing, will be outweighed by the positives, like making new international friends, finding a foreign place that just fits you perfectly, or learning your way through city streets without a map. These experiences can shape who we are and even have the potential to change our worldview.

So go.

Don't let the unknown scare you. Living in fear is not really living at all... so book your trip and let yourself absorb everything about the culture and people around you. Let your new experiences steep inside you and affect every other facet of your life. I promise you, you will not regret it.

Just go.

No comments:

Post a Comment