It was the beginning of my third academic year at university in September of 2012 when it happened. I realized that I just had experienced something special, something that will change my way of thinking.
Few days before I came back from the United States where I stayed the whole summer working in an amusement park. Well, it wasn’t about the United States or the length of my stay or even about my amusing job, but about a huge mix of feelings from experiencing the new culture and connecting with the people I had met. I was lucky to be surrounded by students from all over the world. My travel spirit had been awakened.
Sounds familiar? I believe so. Everyone who loves to travel would come up with this awakening moment of the travel spirit. Since that my wanderlust has been rising. It happens that I feel pure happiness when I’m on the way to different country to explore different things, to meet different people, to eat different food, to perceive different world and – what is the most important – to see different myself. Because it does change you. In a good way, in the best way. I’ve started to believe that traveling is the only way how we can change our worldview and consequently how our worldview then can change ourselfs. Should be noted that all this happens when traveling, not touristing. I suggest to distinguish between traveler and tourist because traveler sees what he sees while tourist sees what he has come to see. No offense, it’s just a completely different thing. My point is when you travel you start to perceive what is usual, ordinary and normal in your country might not be usual, ordinary and normal in other countries or cultures. We learn and become richer besides having fun. Isn’t it magical?
If I go deeper, I believe that through traveling we improve our personalities, change attitudes, build empathies and elude stereotypes. Then we are actually able to make the world better through better ourselfs and that is why I got obsessed with this stuff. Breaking culture and language barriers is accompanied by curious kindness. Have you ever asked yourself why it seems like the people at the place you are visiting are somehow kind to you that you may think I wish it could be like here in my country or wherever on the world? Firstly, it’s because our mind is out of the comfort of usual, ordinary and normal life we live at home and then it works differently, more carefully and sensitively. Secondly, I’ve discovered that the language barrier is one of the most pleasant barriers you could ever experience. Just imagine you out there in the morning standing in a bakery trying to point at the bread you would like to take pronouncing its unknown name with a silly smiling face hoping that you will get the right one while salesgirl smiling at you with silly smiling face. This puts a smile on my face every time. Suddenly you begin being grateful for little things such as successful ordering in the bakery, catching the right bus number, learning first words in the local language, connecting with random people on the street or friends you’ve come to visit. In this context, I believe in traveling alone. Travelmates from your country may leave you in a vacuum which doesn’t let you open your eyes, mind and heart towards new experiences. This also puts you in a position that allows you to meet and talk with locals or other travelers which is quite more interesting and for me kind of magical.
One can say I haven’t discovered anything new about traveling. Well, it still keeps me happy when I have a chance to share my travel feelings, thoughts and ideas from my own experiences. Traveling has opened my eyes. Moving from place to place, learning from ones and inspiring others leave me selfactualized. So why are we still sitting here? Hit the road!