We Travel To Learn About Ourselves

After reading AJ’s blog last week, it had me thinking about one of my own experiences.

My wife and I had taken a bucket list trip before we had our first child. We went to Greece and Italy. We had over romanticized expectations and were surprised multiple times because of it. Some surprises were positive and some were…not so positive. Regardless, we learned so much just by interacting with an environment that was so different then the one we were both born and raised in.

When I returned to work after my vacation, I was speaking with someone who also liked to travel. I mentioned how much I enjoyed it, but I was happy be to be home. Her response was, “oh, you must not actually like to travel then.”

Her comment confused me for quite a while. I believe there is a misconception that traveling to different places will create a sense of disdain for home. I understand the sentiment to a degree. I lamented on our podcast after returning from New York that I wished our state had more beauty built into our cities. That did not cause me to hate my home though. For me, traveling actually makes me appreciate my home. I lamented the lack of beauty in Az, but I did not mention the lack of humidity, bugs, congested cities, etc.

The major example that comes to mind is from my time in Italy. We were waiting for our tour bus. There was a small shop we had to check in at before boarding. We waited in line like we do here in America. Once the lady opened her window, everyone mobbed her desk. It was chaos. We actually got concerned that we would not be able to make our tour because people were just pushing to the front. It was stressful. When we got back to America, the first thing I noticed was how orderly the lines were. I had never realized how much I appreciate organization and order. I like process. I like efficiency. I learned all of this about myself by experiencing the complete opposite in Italy.

Traveling should be a broadening of our horizons, mentally and physically. It introduces us to a multitude of experiences we would never have otherwise. Processing those experiences is how we view ourselves and how we arrive at our world view. If we limit our experiences, we limit our ability to understand ourselves and others.

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