We’re fortunate enough to live during a time when travel is relatively easy and inexpensive. Compared to 40 years ago, when flights were costly, we have come a long way. Budget airlines even offer some flights for less than £10, madness! So, with these low prices and improved infrastructure in some of the lesser ‘touristy’ countries in Europe and across the world, it seems there really is no better time than now to be welcomed aboard. But why? Why should we travel at all? Well, thanks to Mark Twain’s genius, we know that it broadens the mind. In this article, we explore exactly why we need to open our eyes and how important it is to see the bigger picture.
Demolish Our Prejudices
Unfortunately, as people, we have something of a habit of assuming that we’re always right, even when we have little or no evidence on which to base our assumptions. Whether this is politics, religion or travel, we think that we know best and therefore need no further knowledge or experience. However, as many travellers and worldly people will attest, this is embarrassingly not correct.
We let the drip feeding of bad news and other people’s prejudices change the way we perceive other countries, and even worse, the people from those countries. When thinking of the Balkans, images can be conjured of cold and bleak settings, with equally cold people, but this is hugely incorrect. Having extensively travelled across Europe, we can say with confidence that these countries and their people are warm, welcoming and beautiful (side note: these three countries share the Adriatic Sea with Italy’s east coast meaning they have beautiful summers and autumns).
It’s hard to not have any prejudices, especially when we are bombarded by bad news on a 24/7 schedule. However, we implore you to act against these; by visiting these countries, having an open mind for their culture and cuisine and asking questions. Being genuinely curious and respectful will guarantee to open doors for you and lead to experiences you would never have had before!
Learn New Ways of Living
As humans, we like to be different, to stand out from the crowd and be noticed. Unfortunately, sometimes these differences can be persecuted, when instead they should be celebrated. One of the greatest privileges of being able to travel so freely is the chance to experience other people’s ways of living.
Having ventured across the world in search of tours, we have given thousands of people the opportunity to enjoy other ways of living. Whether this is cooking a new recipe, learning a new skill or taking part in a new tradition, the chance to step into someone’s life and experience life from their point of view is a truly unique feeling and one that can really only be obtained through travelling.
Bring New Cuisines into Your Home
Ever been on holiday and tried a new recipe that’s blown your mind? Maybe a dish that combines your favourite foods in a different way, or a recipe that uses an ingredient you’ve never even heard of? If the answer is yes, then that is a great reason for travelling.
Trying new food abroad and then remaking that food for your friends and family back home is a great feeling; it may also inspire them to head out on a new adventure! Challenge yourself to try something new next time you head abroad, maybe even something you can’t pronounce!
Build Human Connections
Although countries have differences, with climates, landscapes and infrastructure differing from place to place, the thing that really defines a country is the people. Although there are minuscule differences that set us apart, it’s more important to focus on the human commonalities that define us. We all like to smile, laugh and be happy, so why not use this knowledge to make a new friend and share a real connection?
Before heading to a new country, try learning some of the language; even a few simple phrases will go a long way. People often appreciate when travellers make the effort and this can set you apart as an inquisitive traveller as opposed to a naive tourist. If people can see that you have made an effort, the thought will more than likely be reciprocated and you can get an insight into the real life of someone that lives in this new country.
Experiences are More Important than Things
Our experiences define us as people, they are the building blocks by which we are made. Often, we care more about the material things we possess than the experiences, which can be a sign of shallowness. No one wants to hear you talk about your expensive watch and everyone wants to hear about the time you visited a Bear Sanctuary in Romania. So, next time you head to the shops to buy something luxurious, stop and think, to consider the amazing adventures you could be having instead. Here at Untravelled Paths, we have some incredible and diverse adventures on offer, why not browse through our tours?