Obviously, all post in this month has been on my travel adventure. Though, not in any way intended but since July happens to fall within the summer season, i guess am right on track. Let me then end the month with another blockbuster travel post. This post is inspired by my recent trip to Dubai and the many travel experiences/learning points garnered within the years. I did a recap of my Dubai trip here in case you missed it.
I know the title of this post may sound so cliché but I will approach it from a different perspective. Travel isn’t about the money involved or your next destination, you could actually plan trips for each year and save towards it as long as you have a steady income but if you haven’t got these valuables, you are better off at home:
Before any trip, it’s normal to be anxious about the new environment, the people and their behaviors but having a preconceived opinion or judgement will most definitely blur or rob you of an unbiased and honest representation of a true cultural experience. A good traveler should always carry along an open mind, free of expectation, undue judgment and practice ethnorelativism; an acquired ability to see many values and behaviors as cultural rather than universal. Be open to new experiences and possibilities, savour the culture and infuse rather than separate yourself from the lifestyles, you just may find new collaborative opportunity. But keeping an open mind does not mandate that you ditch your core values and spiritual beliefs. On the contrary, it implores you to acknowledge that others have their own beliefs as well.
There are loads of life discoveries and learning opportunities when you step out of your comfort zone and embark on a purpose-driven trip. Whether it’s learning how to prepare a local cuisine or a new language (i suck at languages though), the only way you can truly enrich your life through travel is to participate in these activities. Seek out the locals and interact with them, i promise that even your prejudices will automatically fade away as you unravel the mysteries behind cultural and ethnic differences.
An Empathic Spirit
According to Wikipedia, “this is the capacity to understand or feel what another being (e.g. a human or non-human animal) is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference, i.e. the capacity to place oneself in another’s position”. When you travel, you will meet people from various background, with diverse experiences, it’s a great wisdom to understand the underlying elements of their culture or lifestyle, you will then realise that something different need not be necessarily wrong. People have different opinions based on their own experiences, stories and lives. Empathy helps you understand that, and yourself a little better.
Locals will provoke you or reject your notion about a certain norm or way of life no doubt but be reminded that you are a stranger. Your confidence plays out in the way you choose to approach the situation without being cocky or arrogant, you will either endear the locals to yourself and allow them embrace you and your lifestyle or cause a disconnect between you and them. After all, they are not required to adapt their lifestyles to accept you. If they do, you should consider their flexibility a privilege.
Cash is King even in a cashless economy! As much as financial institutions tries to promote the use of alternate payment channels across the globe, that little cash will come in handy when you need to tip the bus driver, the hotel janitor or receptionist either for a favour or an appreciation of a good deed. It’s noteworthy to know that there is an allowable travel cash limit for individuals called PTA (Personal Travel Allowance) as well as for organisation (Business Travel Allowance), to be accessed once you present all relevant travel documents to your bank. But for security purposes, it is safer to go the route of alternate channels (e.g. debit and credit payment cards).
What other valuables should one carry along as they journey the globe? Please drop your comments below
…Making The World More Beautiful One Room at a Time