To travel or not to travel, that should not even be a question! Track that Travel wants to know what 5 ways travel changed my life, but I can do better: show why it made me a better person. At the end of the blog I will reveal what the journey that I have been undertaking made me. But first, let us count down the 5 ways which got me that far!
1. Travel made me embrace the unknown
From eating with chopsticks in China, dancing with locals in South Africa to meeting the family of my better half for the first time all the way in Bangladesh: every experience was unknown at first. The trick is to embrace the unknown! Being open for new opportunities got me in a cage surrounded by sharks, using local customs and making amazing friends around the globe. Like any superhero, embrace your surroundings and defeat your kryptonite. Your kryptonite can be anything you fear, the so called comfort zone. After visiting La Tomatina last year I was sure that tomatoes are not my kryptonite :).
2. To travel is to love
2 years ago I had this crazy date with a girl. When we talked about our hobbies we both replied: travelling! She just got back from backpacking throughout South East Asia, and I just got back from backpacking throughout Central America. That spark ignited like the particle accelerator explosion at S.T.A.R. labs created the Flash. And just like the Flash, the last two years flew by like lightning with a lot of new travel stories. Together we visited Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Vatican City. Next month Estonia, Finland, Russia and Sweden will be added to the list. That means we have been to 20+ different countries together in 2 years time, love for travelling brought us experiences and memories worth 20 human lifes in just 2.
3. Social development
Going on an internship to South Africa on my own 5 years ago got me out the comfort zone. From being someone who was relatively shy to make tons of friends around the globe and even meeting that dream girl who loves to travel, it sounds cheezy but it is true! Travelling even helped me in my professional life, becoming a recruitment professional (yes, my job nowadays is to talk to people!). Without exploring the world, backpacking and travelling on my own I would have never gained this much life experience.
4. A peaceful mind
After losing my father at the age of 25 I was devastated. Mad at the whole world, not feeling love or affection for anything and demotivated. But unlike the Punisher I did not go on a rampage but seeked refuge in travelling. The best thing that happened to me was going to do an internship at the other side of the world. Leaving all the sadness behind and being possible to give things a place in my heart not only gave me a lot of experiences: it made me a better human being respecting life and my fellow humans more than ever.
5. University of the World
Yes, I studied for my Bachelors and are currently working on getting my Masters degree besides having a fulltime job. But the most wise things I got taught were while travelling. Learning from different cultures, seeing the best out of people and the most powerful thing there is on this planet: people who are poor on their bank account, but rich on life sharing their possessions with you. The world is a big place and we read a lot of bad things happening, but travelling shows the best out of the human race and that we have much to learn from one another. We travellers are open minded and must show the world the true meaning of respect!
These 5 ways of how travelling made me a better person is just a pit stop. Who knows what else the future holds. One thing is obvious, I will never stop growing through travel.
All the dividing and assumptions in this world need to be stopped. Let us all see each other as equals. If we look at the animal kingdom, which creature would do a better job to be a symbol for hope: the Giant Panda!
Why? The Giant Panda is Asian, Black and White: all the stereotypes the world labels us with united in one. Travelling opened my eyes and made me a better person. Let it do the same to you.
The best? We are getting married in 2019 :-).