I think when you love yourself. You need to the best version of yourself.
Travelling is such a big thing to build up on your character and personality. It’s important to be able to be open to other people’s cultures, traditions and customs and you can only understand this by travelling the world and living how other people live.
It’s crazy how easy it is to become safe with whatever situation we are in. We’re always mostly satisfied with being “comfortable” that we never push ourselves to the limit and push past our boundaries. We don’t like being challenged as it makes us uncomfortable.
A simple example of this is being in a career that we’ve been in for years. We can so easily work at the same building, same office, same desk for years. We can keep on drinking coffee at our favourite cafe. We can go to the same salon when we want our specific haircut. We can do the same drive the same route to work, do the same routine everyday and be quite.. boring.
Hey, its not like I haven’t been there. I have a huge problem of being safe and being in my comfort zone. But I have come to realise recently how important it is to be outside of that “zone.”
It takes us so much courage (so to speak) to speak to someone of another culture who we may have cultural prejudice. It takes us so much over-analysis to potentially help someone in need e.g. a homeless person. And we make so many excuses to leave our current job (even though we hate it) to pursue a new career. We put our families, children, work priorities before our own health. We also blame money and time before we can even consider taking a vacation.
My current trip to Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore has been an eye opening experience. Just in a matter of a few days of gallivanting around asia, I came across things that I have never even thought of day to day that I even had to consider. Such as:
- Not revealing my shoulders as is it was a muslim country. I had to be particularly careful I didn’t draw too much attention to myself and didn’t disrespect their culture/religion.
- Certain hours of a particular day people weren’t working and things were closed due to prayers times.
- Boys and girls had to be segregated when seated in a lecture room.
- Women couldn’t touch men and vice versa.
- They had to do a prayer before giving out awards at a ceremony
Other things you learn whilst travelling:
- Different slangs and how people speak. From English England to English American to English Australia do all our sayings, words and slangs change.
- Difference in dressing: The way people dress in Japan/China/Korea would be so different to for example in America, to the extremes of Brunei and Malaysia.
- Food. People eat weird shit. But what you find weird, might be completely normal for others. Like durian. That shit smells but it tastes bloody good.
- Customs: It is crazy how laid back Australians are. We literally can rock up in swimmers to a house party and no one would bat an eye lid. Go to Japan and its custom to bring a gift, dress appropriate and BOW when you enter somebody’s home.
- Means of transports: I would hardly ever catch a bus in LA as the normal means of transport is either driving a car yourself or uber-ing it. England on the other hand- it would be so common to catch a bus and train and rare to just drive everywhere as cars are so expensive and traffic is horrid.
- Money: our currencies are all worth differently around the world. I couldn’t believe that things could cost so little in another country to Australia. Pho (vietnamnese noodles) were $2 AUD for a whole bowl. Singapore foods are round about $3-$5 at hawker centres. Whilst in Sydney it is so different to find a main meal for less than $15. Don’t even get me started on how cheap massages are in Thailand/Vietnam compared to Sydney. It makes me wonder how much western cultures have “inflated” everything. People in countries like South East Asia, the islands and smaller countries can live off $10, whilst we can barely manage in a western society with the same amount of money.
- Living: You realise that people can live off so little. We are so fortunate to have sky-rises, beautiful elegant hotels, beaches with nice restaurants. But people are barely making a living and scraping through. And they still seem happy. It makes you realise that no matter how much you have. You need to be content.
- Religion: Different countries generally have a main religion. E.g. China is Buddhism, Australia/England/America is christianity, Indonesia is Muslim. It is just crazy to see how religion can influence culture.
Anyway, thats some of the few things I have learnt from travelling. I don’t stay I’m a guru in travelling and there are soooo many more places that I still haven’t explored. But I would say my experiences have greatly shaped who I am today, how I see things in life and I’m sure if I continue travelling I will continue to grow as a person.
So step outside your comfort zone. Catch a plane to somewhere you have always thought of going. Start safe if you must then go really adventurous. Or go do it the other way around! As long you mingle with the locals, eat shitloads of crazy food and enjoy an experience you cannot put a price on! 🙂