Travel Makes You Stupid?
With a heading like that, you are probably wondering what is wrong with me. Yes, it’s a slightly misleading title as I strongly believe the more you travel the smarter you get, I would argue with anyone who disagrees with that statement. But the actual form of visiting somewhere new makes you stupid. So stupid you can’t get a train and might end up walking out in front of a car. The things that you would rely on at home are no longer there and now your standing on your own two feet and barely walking.
If you still don’t understand why travel makes you stupid, then I will be giving more examples in second as well as why travel actually makes you smarter.
This is most apparent with English people, Many English do not have a second language. Unlike the many people in the world that can speak a little bit of English. Have you ever seen a French person speak to a German? They will most probably talk to each other in English. And there you are not even able to ask for a sandwich while you’re in Germany.
I spent years in school learning Spanish and unless there was a red bus that went past, I could point and say “autobus rojo”. That’s the limits of my skills.
Having very little language skills can make day to day efforts extremely difficult. You struggle to go into café and hope they speak English, where 9 out of 10 times they do. Doing this makes you feel stupid. But feeling stupid means you are getting smarter. You have learned a weakness that you didn’t know you had or didn’t care about before. You then start to learn words and phrases to help you along the way.
Expecting things to be the same
Every country has slight differences, I’m not talking about the culture. I’m talking about simple things for example in Germany they drive on the opposite side of the road and café serve items on trays and you being expected to put it in the rack.
These slight differences can be quick to pick up on, like putting a tray back after your drink. You watch someone and learn not to bring your empty’s up the front as you do in a English bar. But there are other slight differences that can be fatal if you forget! For example, cars driving on the other side of the road isn’t a massive problem if you planning to walk and take public transport. But before you cross the road you always check for cars, but now you are looking the wrong way. You would feel very stupid with the car slams into because you looked the wrong way. But you learn quickly to pay more attention when you travel, you learn.
This is the biggest shock when arriving somewhere with a completely different culture than yours you immediately feel stupid and start thinking to yourself that what they do is stupid to make yourself feel that little bit smarter.
When I visited Bali, they have many different traditions and religions to what I am used to. For example, they lay flowers in a box their house and shops or even cars. Some would argue about this being a waste of time and money because they don’t know or understand what it means for the Balinese when they do this ritual. It a thank you for the day that they will receive, just like some write a goodwill journal.
Each time you learn a tiny bit of someone else routine it opens your mind a little more
Why You should open your mindset when traveling
My old boss would always say to me, I have been doing this job for longer than you have been alive, but if you can teach me a better way of sweeping then I will listen. I feel people who travel should have this mindset as the way you do things doesn’t mean it’s the fastest, strongest or best way.
Learning and listening to others is a great way of leaning their ideas, adapting old idea and creating new ideas. This doesn’t mean when you get home it will be the best way of doing things, but its an alternative way, if and when you need it.
Thanks for reading
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Don’t forget to smash it.