This post is mainly for Westerners or anyone else, who is blessed with a passport which allows you to travel all over the world.. This post is to the people who want to travel and are in a position to save up money for it.
It’s nice to go away for holidays to tropical destinations, stay in a big hotel with swimming pool, or in a hostel full of backpackers. It’s awesome to be surrounded by other tourists and travellers. Why shouldn’t we do it?
However, if you want to experience something new, something more enriching, or you simply care about where our world is going to, you want to go off beaten track.
And this doesn’t necessarily mean, that you need to ditch the idea of visiting Thailand and go to Kongo instead. All I am saying is, that you can try to explore these ‘developing countries’ to their fullest. Observe surroundings, try to talk to the locals and be a giving visitor.
Now, when I say ‘giving’, I mean just give the best of you. Your kindness, manners or fun. Whatever is you, give the ‘you’ to your best.
What would you do this for? There are a few things you’ll gain:
1. You’ll appreciate what you have.
This is a pretty obvious one, but still quite underestimated statement. Coming back home is never the same because you gained perspective. You’ll be able to see which good things your country has to offer and become more grateful. For example, I ended up appreciating pavements!
2. You’ll feel of use.
The locals you meet may never be able to travel like we do. You can share what you learned and this is a perfect reason to feel good! For example, you can help some people to practice English. Not everyone has a privilege to study it, and many people have no choice but to learn it themselves.
3. You’ll understand the world a bit more.
I remember when in my first month in Madagascar I went sightseeing with the director of the local tourism office. We walked by the city port and I saw a number of men working outside in the heat with pickaxes and no safety clothing. After living for years in the UK, where health and safety rules are very strict I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was nearly fuming; “How is that possible?” “None is looking after the safety of these people!” I claimed to the guy I was with. He replied: “This is our process of growing, we do it in our own time. Let it be”.
Yep. What’s good for us, doesn’t have to be, what someone else considers necessary to feel happy.
And the sooner we’ll get it, the easier it will be to make this world a better place.
4. You’ll balance out.
Because even if the locals you’ll meet have little money and their education system isn’t as advanced as ours, it doesn’t mean that they’re less smart than we are. They are different ‘kind of smart’ and we, Westerners like this, because we can balance out.
5. You’ll never come back the same.
That’s the danger. But it’s a good one. You’ll see a new ‘upgraded’ version of you. You’ll get awarded by a better understanding of people, places, and the world, so not much will irritate you anymore.