Travelling teaches you to be curious. To see as if for the first time, and to explore your new surroundings with a childlike openness. It also reminds you that you may have become a bit ‘jaded’ in your everyday life and routine, and have grown weary so that you no longer notice the wonder of what is around you. Sometimes it is nice to overhear tourists in your own town talking about their experiences, and with the world of the Internet, it is so easy to find out what people from other countries and cultures think of your country or the place you live.
Just as you allow yourself to be curious, attentive and aware when you travel to new places, try to see your everyday life with fresh eyes when you return. Think of yourself as a traveller in your own town, village or city, and imagine that you are seeing things once more for the first time. Never stop learning, never stop being curious, and never stop living life with a childlike wonder…. ❤
Travelling Teaches You to challenge your preconceptions. We often go into a situation failing to realise that we are looking at life and viewing our new experiences through the lens of our cultural and societal conditioning. It would be hard not to do so, and it’s not necessarily ‘wrong’. However, travelling is a perfect opportunity to take off those metaphorical glasses and try wearing those of another culture for a change.
Perhaps a specific example might help to illustrate my point. Before I went to Italy a couple of weeks ago (not for the first time), I did a bit of research online. As well as looking at guide books and videos I also watched ‘vlogs’ by real Italians, and read travellers comments and thoughts from sites such as ‘TripAdvisor’ and I gleaned some insights that actually came to mind when I was in Italy. One particular learning point occurred when I was reading comments from someone who had been upset at the seemingly ‘rude’ behaviour of Italian shop owners who ‘refused’ to give this person their change in their hands, but instead left it on the counter top. The person struggled with it and felt like they were being treated rudely. As someone from a visible minority I am aware that such experiences for me might trigger negative feelings and memories of being treated unfairly or in a prejudicial manner. However, as I read on, I saw responses to this person’s comment saying that this was not unusual practice, and might even be considered polite. When I encountered this myself a week later, I could smile to myself remembering the insights that I had gleaned earlier.
In short, different cultures do things differently. One behaviour might seem ‘rude’ or uncaring to someone whereas it might be the standard of politeness to another. Things are not always as they seem, so be aware of the cultural ‘tint’ in your glasses, and try on another pair for a change on your travels from time to time 🙂
(Do you have any examples from your own travels or experience of times when you have been challenged to think outside of the lens of your cultural conditioning?)
Travelling Teaches Youthat you are part of something so much bigger than yourself and the ‘world’ that you are used to. You are part of life that goes beyond your own time, space and experience. You may be standing in places where great thinkers have walked, or beholding the beauty of a vast and unfathomable Creation in Nature that is only a small part of what we know of the Universe.
I took the photo above last week outside the Duomo in Milano, Italy. This building took centuries to create and is quite a work of architecture. People were involved in work that went beyond anything that would be completed in their life times, and yet they saw merit in playing their part in something bigger. Travelling broadens your mind to new experiences, and possibilities including the fact that there is so much that you know nothing about. Perhaps it can leave you feeling small and overwhelmed, but really, it should stir your heart into awakening to being part of the amazing experience of existence, and the sweetness that you, along with each of your fellow travellers are taking in an experience completely unique to you. Be blessed fellow travellers, and friends 🙂 . xx
Welcome to a new series of blog posts, called “Travelling Teaches You…”, which I have decided to keep as short and sweet little nuggets of inspiration for my busy readers. I think I’d like to try this new style of series out for size, not because I have less to say (in fact, I feel like I have so much more to explore in my thoughts!), but because I often see wonderful travel posts pop up on my article feed, and I just don’t have time amid everything else going on to fully read and appreciate them all. And I know others must feel the same too ~ so many inspiring bloggers and blog posts…and comparatively so little time! ❤ So to give you something sweet and bite-sized to savour, without further ado…welcome to the first instalment of “Travelling Teaches You…”.
Travelling Teaches You to notice and pay attention to things, to see as if for the first time, and to think about your experience in the present moment rather than get lost in your inner world of the past or an unknown future or your own world of imagination or worry. Things are fresh and new, and you notice as your brain absorbs new sensations and experiences, for your own ‘survival’ as it were, you need to pay attention to currency, language, signs, unfamiliar places. When things are new, you are more likely to live present. This is what Travelling Teaches You. (c).
Apologies once again, friends. It has been a few weeks since I have blogged, however, you may be pleased to hear that this is not without good reason. I have had the pleasure of revisiting one of my favourite countries on this little globe ~ Bella Italia ~ having spent just over a week at Lago di Como (Lake Como), and around 4 days travelling by coach and by ferry to get there via France and Switzerland.
I arrived back from my beautiful Italian adventure just 4 days ago on Friday evening (24th August 2018), eager to tell you all about it and perhaps hear about your experiences of travelling to Italy and / or elsewhere too.
However, I’m sure I’m not alone in finding that it takes a bit of time to readjust and recalibrate after spending time in another place or country, especially if that place is a particularly beautiful escape from one’s usual surroundings. Not that where I live doesn’t have its merits, but the Italian Lakes are breath-taking in beauty, the weather is consistently warm and lovely, and the atmosphere is sweet with La Dolce Vita, and La Dolce Far Niente.
I arrived back home to be greeted by rain, and cold weather. It has brightened now and is not raining today at least, however, the climes are unpredictable, and considerably colder and sunshine is a much awaited blessing that certainly doesn’t last the whole year round.
Today also happens to be my second day back at work. Do you ever find that you go away on an adventure, even if your travels are merely for a short duration, or perhaps you have been away for a year or more to travel the world, you have been inspired, changed and touched by your new experiences, and yet you come back and everything seems to be the ‘same old, same old’.
Don’t get me wrong, it is lovely to come home, to familiar people, places, and languages, but it is bitter-sweet, and it takes time to find a new rhythm, to process the experiences you have had, and also to take what you have learned and make changes in your day to day – such as slowing down, savouring the moment, and not getting caught up in the rush and hurry of routine to the extent that you lose part of yourself.
So that is where I am just now….eager to hear of your thoughts and experiences. I guess we all share so much in common – sometimes a break away from ‘ordinary life’ in a beautiful place gives our souls and minds a much longed for respite – however, on return we are faced both with the blessings and benefits of personal growth, but also the challenges to change, and the resurfacing of familiar issues, or personal problems that still need to be faced when the sun is no longer metaphorically shining.
However, travel changes us. And it is a reminder to see things afresh in our day to day life. Perhaps, to reintegrate into our ‘ordinary surroundings’ by looking through the lens of a traveller’s eye. To see things afresh, and to find La Dolce Vita…the sweetness of life, right here where we are, right now.