Culture

How has travel changed you?

I love travel. Didn’t do much of traveling growing up.  However, once I had a job I hit the trails at full speed. I believe in the power of travel and thus have exposed my son to different states and countries at a very early age. He has turned out to be a great travel and I couldn’t happier. However, despite my positive outlook on travel (and almost dire psychological need to do it) as we hit the streets of Hong Kong, I have questioned how does travel impact one.

how change you

Obviously, being exposed to different cultures, languages and food, widens one’s experiences. But are there immediate events while travel that completely change one’s life? I lived in Spain at a very early part of my life and it helped me see beyond our borders. Although, admittedly, I didn’t get all the nuances of my day to to day life there.

In the weeks leading up to my current trip, I had a particular earworm that haunted me day in and day out.  It’s the song called “Cruel World” by Phantogram with these lyrics just running repeatedly thorugh my head.

So I’m saying my goodbyes
Goodbye to my good side
It only ever got me hurt
And I finally learned
It’s a cruel, cruel world
It’s a cruel, cruel world

Sometimes when you travel, you not only hope to have some rest but you hope that you can come back changed.  I have never read the book (nor seen the movie) Eat, Pray, Love but I am given to understand it is about a woman who found a whole ner her through traveling far, far away. Yes, I have simplified the plot enormously.  But you get the point.

 

I don’t believe that I have ever had a trip so drastically alter my life. All my travels have led to incremental change in my life by gaining new perspectives.  But part of me had a slight fantasy that I could go on this trip and come back and say screw it all and move on. But I know, I will come back to more work and some level of anxiety on the part of others who fretted about me being away. Then there will be those that are envious I got to leave despite their multitude of other perks, and not realizing that I have slaved away day in and day out.

 

Anyway, I am looking forward to my adventure here traveling up some peaks and on trams and trying a ton of pork. But I just wonder what I will bring back with me and what I will pay forward. I’d love to change it all completely and say goodbye to all the craziness but I don’t have that bandwidth.

 

Although, funny enough, right before I left for vacation (the morning of my flight) I accidently erased all my work documents from my perosnal laptop. And I barely fretted. I tried to receover the documents but when it seems fruitless, I shrugged and noted “it is what it is.” Perhaps that was a sign. And maybe I will get another sign while out here. Otherwise, I wil just be about my merry way.

 

 

15 replies »

  1. I think travel has made me like the morning and breakfast a bit more. I struggle to do both otherwise. What a lame answer. Not culture, not languages. Food and getting out of bed lol!

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  2. Traveling, especially if you do it by yourself, gives you strength and sense of self esteem and definitely makes you more open to seeing what’s out there. Not being on someone else’s schedule is very liberating, which adds to the entire experience.

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  3. As stated by Leggypeggy, it’s hard to describe all the ways. I still kick myself for not looking for work when I was in Spain in 1984. But I was only 18 and having too much fun 😜👍 Recently, a trip to the Philippines gave me a deep understanding of the term “third world country”. I no longer take for granted the fact that I am able to brush my teeth in the morning and rinse my mouth with the tap water. I no longer take for granted the fact that our toilets flush WITHOUT having to pour a bucket of water down them. I no longer take for granted the fact that we live somewhere where it is actually safe to drink the water without becoming violently ill! 👍

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      • I was only there for a month and was on a tour from Madrid to Tangiers. Would love to go back and be able to take my time to be able to see more (except the cathedrals… Between Mexico and Spain, I’ve seen enough cathedrals to last a lifetime!). 😊👍

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  4. I lived in China for a year when my kids were 10 and 13. There were times when I would have come back home if there’d been a plane right there and other times when it was amazing. Interestingly, everything looked different when we first came back. All the locals here (in Australia) looked very tall, big and hairy, with big noses. Everything looked so uncrowded and spacious… it was the weirdest thing.

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  5. I went to China in 1980 with a group of horticulturalists ( I was not one I just tagged along) I was there for three weeks and it was as if I had been transported to another planet. I did not think about home ( England at the time), my friends, my parents, nothing. I was so overawed by China and the Chinese experience ( this was the first year China was open to tourists and was still Maoist China). I came home and it took me a good three weeks to “land”. It opened my eyes and my head in a way that only travel to a foreign land can. Great question. Thanks for posting this.

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