Traveling is not only a wonderful experience, but it is also an opportunity for growth. See, the biggest flaw in the system that is in place in our world is called the “routine”, it is encouraged to have a routine and to build a career in a company then work, and repeat the same thing everyday. Now of course you may face problems at work that may make you smarter, however you are still in your “comfort zone” and growth is only created when you push the boundaries of what you consider your comfort zone. Growth is created in uncertainty. When you come across a situation in your life where you have no idea of the outcome, you are forced as a human to either hide and retreat back to your comfort zone or to grow and push the limits and boundaries that you currently have until you feel comfortable.
That is what I love about traveling and living in other countries. Everywhere you go you will be put into situations of uncertainty and those will not only be scary, but also exciting, exhilarating, and most likely some of the best in your life. Most importantly, those situations will help you to view the world in a different way. They will change your perspective and open your eyes to the world.
I would encourage you to start planning your first trip and to book it somewhere completely out of your comfort zone. Don’t go somewhere where they speak your language as a their native tongue, go somewhere where the language is completely different, go somewhere that is different in every way from your home.
I remember when I was younger, I had traveled all over Canada, USA, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, however in all the places we went I had my dad to take care of me and we were always in resorts where people always all spoke English very well. There was never that feeling of uncertainty. After I booked my first ticket to Europe a few years ago, I was scared because this was going to be completely different. I would be submerged into a new world and that also made me extremely excited. I will never forget that plane ride to Poland (that was our destination). It was amazing (and really long).
When we walked through Poznan, PL for the first time it was just incredible, seeing the architecture, hearing the polish people speaking polish and not understanding a word they were saying. I saw statues, buildings, people that were all different from my home country of Canada. I learned a few words in Polish to make my stay easier.
I learned how to say yes, no, hello, “I don’t speak polish”, sorry (this is a big one as a Canadian), and more. The language was so different and very fun to use, because I had no idea whether I was actually saying it properly. The best thing about speaking a persons native tongue to someone when yours is different is how proud and great they feel when they have the chance to speak it to an English person, because as many of us English people don’t realize is that our language is the language of the world, people everywhere learn it to be able to accommodate us (and of course as a trade language, let’s not get too egotistic here) and we don’t even realize it. In school we don’t even realize the opportunity we have to learn new languages and we throw it away, because we are spoiled and in the meantime on the other side of the world they are learning English and if they don’t, they will be kept away from many opportunities.
This first experience traveling in a foreign country shaped my new found love of learning about new cultures, languages, and countries. It was all due to uncertainty and pushing the limits of my comfort zone and that is the beauty of uncertainty. I wish it to all of you so that you may grow as people and have the opportunity to live a life worth living.