Travel is a curious thing. In a world where Western civilization has made one city similar to another, why do we find travel so intriguing? For instance, many of the hotels we stay in may have a striking resemblance to a hotel we stayed at in another country. A Hilton hotel we stayed at in Australia may have many of the same décor and services we experienced when we were in Austria.
While we can, of course, appreciate the cultural differences between two countries, that’s not the only thing that makes travel exciting. Two other things about travel thrill us. First, you’re experiencing the same thing, but different. Second, you experience tremendous personal growth.
Let’s take a closer look at these two intriguing aspects of travel:
The Same Thing, But Different
The thrill of travel includes the visceral pleasure of experiencing “the same thing, only different.”
Here are 3 random examples:
Avid golfers familiar with the courses back home can travel and have a different golfing experience in another country. While both your home course and one in another country may have many similar things—a clubhouse with a bar and restaurant, bags and caddies, professional golf shops, courses and sandpits, and comparable intervals between tee times, etc—the experience is acutely different. For instance, the difference in playing golf at Sherwood Country Club, a private, country club in Lake Sherwood, California and playing golf at the world-class Dubai golf facilities at the Els Club is profound, for the simple fact both offer utterly different designs and layouts to their holes.
If you go out to a Chinese dinner in Las Vegas, it is not at all like going out for dinner in Macau, which is called the Las Vegas of the East. It’s a completely different type of experience, in terms of ambiance, food selection, taste, and so on. The difference between eating at an ethnic restaurant in your home country and eating the same dish in the country of origin are immense.
A simple thing like a sunrise can be spectacular. While you’re used to seeing the sun rise in your own country, it appears to paint the skies in different hues when it rises in another land. Similarly, a rainstorm in the United States is not like a rainstorm in Europe. While coming across snow in Minnesota will probably make you groan, coming across snow in Africa, say on the slopes of Mount Kenya, is positively exciting.
This list is interminable. Everything you experience in your home country is different from what you experience in another country, even if there are many similarities between them.
Incredible Personal Growth
Another thing that makes travel such an exciting experience is that it is one of the fastest way to experience personal growth. If you’re into personal growth, you may have taken a few self-help workshops. However, you can probably experience more personal growth if you take a trip to another country. When you travel, you learn how to establish better relationships and to solve problems. As a result, your self-confidence soars because you get good at doing novel things and handling unexpected situations.
- Improving relationships.
If you speak English, traveling to another English speaking country is not going to be the same as speaking English in your home country. As an American, say, in the UK or Australia, you will feel challenged by the accents, idioms, novel words and phrases. As a result of these cultural discrepancies between English speaking countries, you will work much harder at expressing your ideas more clearly in hope of being understood better. If you speak another language, say, German, the German you learned in your language class back home will seem awkward and stilted in Germany or Switzerland. However, over time, you will learn to pronounce words better, increase your vocabulary, and stop messing up on the grammar. These struggles to communicate more clearly will improve your relationship skills.
- Better problem-solving skills.
All the systems you’re familiar with in your home country will be different in another country, ranging from hailing a taxi to cashing a check. Since you’re not familiar with how things work, you’ll make plenty of mistakes and create problems for yourself. However, when you’re traveling, you don’t have the luxury of ignoring your problems or hiring someone to solve them for you. You must solve the problems that arise to get to your next step.