15 October 2018 – The man who hated traveling
Some time ago, I met a man in Bangkok before I ventured off to Chiang Rai. He startled me. His views challenged me and left me in a state of…I guess you could say disbelief.
I met him at a cheap hostel I booked. I can’t remember exactly where he was from ~ I think he lived in England but he was of African descent.
As we were walking around to look for a massage, we started talking about Thailand…and about travel. I remember his words like he said them yesterday.
“I hate traveling. If I could just stay in my home town, I would.”
He had to travel to different places for work. He’d been to a few countries in his life. And he hated being there. He didn’t like the culture in Thailand and thought everything was weird.
I couldn’t help but feel he had a negative judgment.
Is it just me who gets frustrated when coming across someone who hates traveling? Is it wrong for me to feel this way? I feel horrible for not empathising but it just grinds my gears because it feels when a person is this way, they have a narrow mind and lack of appreciation for other cultures. Maybe it’s just because their preferences and ideologies are so far removed from the person I am.
Regardless, I do respect other people’s differences and appreciate that not everybody likes traveling or change. However, I’m not sure I will ever be able to fully understand it.
One thing’s for sure, I’ll never forget that guy. He got me thinking about how much I love traveling and how lucky I am to be able to do it and fully appreciate it. He also inspired me to write a blog about why I love traveling (also long overdue).
Ten reasons why I love to travel
- You learn a lot – when you travel to you experience new everything. You get to see new cultures, nature, people…and simply just do things that you don’t ordinarily do.
- You get to try so many different foods – ordinarily I eat the same thing every day (it’s boring to cook for one person and I focus more on the economics of food in everyday life) so when I travel, I’m exposed to a whole world of different food ~ often things I’ve never had before. As a foodie – it’s like heaven, especially because a lot of the foods I try, I can’t get back home.
- You meet so many people from around the world – they say that it’s the people which make the experience…and I completely agree. Not only do people tell me stories and things about their life and culture which is interesting and helps me learn more about the world, they also offer me company to go on adventures. I just love how travellers are up to do almost anything.
- You go outside of your comfort zone – there have been so many times I’ve done both weird and wonderful things. There have been times where I’ve been frustrated and bored. And I’m not going to lie, there have been times I’ve been outright shocked or scared. Think long train rides, beggars following or touching you, crazy traffic, weird toilets ~ the list goes on. These experiences have definitely been challenging but they are the ones which enrich the whole experience.
- You grow as a person – on the note of meeting people, learning, going outside your comfort zone and breathing a different culture, it’s unsurprising that you’d grow as a person. There have been times where I’ve been in confronting or scary situations and overcome them all and I have to say, I’m always proud of myself and surprised at my capabilities.
- You become more empathetic towards others – as a result of living and breathing another culture, I’ve found myself to grow a better understanding and respect for another’s culture and way of life. The best example I can think of is when I went to India and saw all these people from different religions co-existing with each other. This taught me respect for other’s ideologies, despite not being religious myself.
- It’s fun – many of the best experiences of my life have come from traveling
- Time loses its importance – this is one of my favourites. I love that when I’m traveling, I forget the sense of what time or day it is. When coming from a rushed world where time dictates everything I do, it’s nice to be able to just focus on and live in the moment
- You get a lot of time to think and reflect – when I’m faced with long walks or bus rides where I’m by myself and have nobody to talk to, I get a lot of time to think (especially when I can’t access the internet or my phone). There’s something amazing to me about having time to look back at what I’ve done, learnt and experience ~ maybe because it the breathing time that I get to appreciate everything
- You get many great stories from bad experiences – there’s been SO many times where I’ve had to wait an excruciating number of hours for something, things have not gone to plan or something has gone wrong. I’ve learnt to appreciate everything ~ bad (and good) because you usually remember, learn the most and get the best stories from the bad experiences. Ultimately everything works out and isn’t that bad. If you have your life, that is enough.
I could go on and on but everybody likes a summary 😊
I’m curious ~ what do you like about traveling? Post in the comments – I’d be happy to read.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the rest of my adventures.