The evening was winding down and I decided that I wanted to catch up on the travel world and so I checked out the articles in the newest issue of a popular travel magazine. The writer began to express of the novelty of submerging himself into a different culture as a donation of time away from luxury. Don’t get me wrong, I think that it is great that this writer explored new things and I am happy that the traditional Chinese culture was able to bring him to new understandings. However, to cast it in a light that this experience is profoundly unusual amongst his readers makes me angry.
My anger stems from the belief that we have it all backwards. In order to be world citizens we need to learn and explore other cultures as often as possible. Doing so breaks cultural barriers and biases in ways nothing else can. For people to spend days in a spa requesting a hot stone massage or room service from chefs they have never seen… that should be the unique occasion, not entire expectation of travel. There is definitely a time and place for it all, for luxury and for culture. When people become so disconnected that luxury becomes a normality, they miss an important part of humanity… the people.
The entire reason that I started this blog is that I was so completely blown away by the impactful experiences that travel brought to me. I had to share it. These experiences opened my mind and changed my thoughts on so many issues. I now understand quirks about the people of other cultures that I would have never understood without face-to-face encounters that can only be gleaned from submerging into a culture that was far from my own.
If there is one piece to be taken from this article it is that I want my readers to experience the activities & places on their bucket-lists. Dig into another culture or way of living by any means of your choosing. Attend a religious service, make a new friend, travel the globe — get out of your comfort zone and meet new everything. Let travel be about breaking down cultural biased and having fun while doing so. Save your hot rocks for when you’re really tired & in need of healing, once the learning is behind you.