Loads of people don´t understand why I put all my money and energies into travelling or preparing to travel. Or writing about travelling,or reading about travelling. I got asked why I don´t save up for one proper vacation instead of travelling cheap so often. My answer is always the same: This is no vacation for me, this is education. And money spent for education is never wasted.
What do we learn from travelling?
First of all, you get the unique chance to hear the point of view of people really living in places many discussions are about. Because how can anyone sitting in a bar at home really talk about a crisis for example in Jerusalem, how can they know what the people in Rome think about the latest Vatican Scandal, or what the Americans REALLY think about Donald Trump? This list is endless!
I will never forget how much I learnt about the Japanese culture and way of living and thinking while my sister and me spent nights strolling through Tokyo´s bars, where met a Japanese guy. Our new friend, Kotaro, whom we are still in contact with, told us how loads of Japanese suffer from the pressure they have to bear, and thus they like to hide into the weird world of Manga and Anime. This was the first time I got a clue why they are so crazy after comics.
Also in Tokyo, I met two amazing Italians and we had a really nice conversation for hours. Even though, back home, our two countries were really similiar and of course, close to each other, I was really surprised to find out that Italy for example is much more advanced in terms of accepting homosexuals. On the Austrian countryside, being gay or lesbian can mean your social death, as loads of people still think of homosexuality as an illness. I thought, in a “Macho”-country like Italy, it would be way worse, but the Italian guy told me it´s really accepted in their area. I was so surprised…
I worked together with a polish girl for two months in a hotel in Jesolo on the Adriatic Coast and loads of evenings we spent comparing the way of living in our two countries, and she told me about the incredible problems a polish person has to even visit the United States, because they don´t want them in their country. She told me about her dad who worked in Germany for 20 years to support his family back home in Poland.
All of these experiences made me see that you need to see more people´s views on a certain topic to really understand it. And not only the view of the other people at the barcounter in your local bar, but the view of people actually LIVING in a place where stuff happens or feeling the effects of it.
“The truth is symphonic” the Theologist Hans Urs von Balthasar once said, it´s an accord of single voices, with every single voice being as important and valuable, because it derives from life, from precise, personal life experience. Differences don´t mean separation in this case, but varying colors of truth. So, after my travel experiences I really started to search for more sources of information than just one, ask more people about a topic, thereby trying to grasp the mosaic the truth really is.
So this is what I learn from travelling. To ask for other people´s point of view and compare them, to learn about other cultures and ways of living and thereby maybe finding the best for myself someday. Also, you really learn to adapt to new situations, an ability which you benefit from for ages after you turned home.
So what are your thoughts about this topic? Why do you travel? Let me know in the comments down below 🙂