Traveling and Time

Traveling is an art, a wonder, a time to start thinking about who you really are and where you fit in. Somehow, when traveling (no matter the age) you end up finding yourself and learning a little bit more about who you really are and what you can endure and expect in certain situations. A lot of these learning experiences take place right after University, or before, when everyone is wondering what they want to do with their life and where to go from here. But, similar experiences can occur on trips you take 10 or 20 years ago. Usually, these experiences don’t occur on weekend trips down to Florida or L.A. that you head out on ‘just to get away’. Traveling is uniquely different from just taking a weekend getaway or going down to a resort for a week or two during winter. Traveling requires extensive research on the destination, is usually booked way ahead of time, visa’s need to be approved, and languages (sort of) need to be learned. Traveling consists of a whole different type of trip requiring you to immerse yourself deeply into the culture, whether or not you realize you truly have.

Immersing yourself in the culture of another can be very rewarding and give you a brand new perspective on your life and your values. However, traveling to faraway lands and learning and plunging yourself into said culture can be hard work; you end up making tons of embarrassing mistakes, you will look stupid a minimum of 10 times a day, and you’ll find all of the Australians and zero locals. If it’s one of your first trips, you may just give up and give into the western side of things, talking to those who only speak English or those who are in your hostels, hotel, or apartment. But, there’s no need to get discouraged and turn away from experiences that can change your life; you can easily, without causing too much stress to yourself, immerse yourself in the culture of the city you’re visiting, gain insight on how the locals live their lives, and make some great friends, or at the very least, acquaintances. The best way? Taking a couple of courses. This can be something simple like a language course, which will most likely be filled with many other English speakers, but will give you an easier path to understand those around you, and give you a chance to meet other like-minded travelers from all different places. Cooking classes can be a fun way to meet others, get acquainted with different types of cooking and food from the city you’re in and makes for an amazing story. Your knowledgeable instructors can leave an imprint on your life forever and you get the added benefit of saying you made buttery soft and flaky croissants in Paris or to-die-for Zuppe di Cozze in Rome.