There is a journey that awaits every traveler that is larger than him or herself. It is the journey to be at peace with yourself and the universe we all are a part of. These quotes and pictures are meant to inspire you to continue your journey of learning – about new cultures, new lands, and new languages – while remembering to discover something new about yourself every step of the way.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” [St.Augustine]
“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” Clifton Fadiman
One of the hardest thing for new travelers to do is take that initial step outside their comfort zone. Let’s be honest: the idea of jumping head first into discovering a country whose language, culture, food, religion and practices are drastically different from your own, is scary! The good news is it doesn’t have to be, not for long anyways. The secret? Be the lizard. Not necessarily slimy and green, but able to adapt to your surroundings and blend in with your environment. Over the course of your travels, your frustrations will directly mirror the amount of effort you put into letting go of the old and embracing the brand-spanking new; sound hard? It’s really not.
Here are 3 steps to ensure that you avoid a meltdown once you step off the plane and into a brave new (foreign) world:
Do your research: I can’t emphasize enough the importance of doing your research prior to takeoff. If you’re really time strapped, take a guidebook in your carry on and substitute it for your on-flight entertainment. Read about things that shape a society and a culture; learning a little about everything from religion to agriculture will help you better understand the people around you once you set foot on the ground.
After recently tying the knot with my German boyfriend, turned fiance, turned husband of 3 and a half years (thank you – thank you), I am able to look back and reflect a little on the lead-up to a marriage between two cultures that seem so similar but harbor very different traditions when it comes to tying the knot…