Never judge by one story

“Traveling someplace new, especially if you’re going to be living there for a long time, is the best way to give yourself a fresh start and a whole new outlook on life. It will be daunting and even sometimes lonely, sure, with cultural traditions and language barriers and all the rest, but that’s what makes it so exciting. There’s almost no better way to reinvigorate yourself, to give yourself a fresh start and a whole new outlook on life than to travel or live someplace new”

Oh how many times in your life have you heard that Germany is full of Nazis and unpleasant people? That French people stink? That Italy’s roads are a mess? That London is expensive, that Finland is cold, that Polish is hard, the list goes on. I read an article on Thought Catalog called ’27 People on the most important lesson they learned while traveling’ and it got me thinking… How many times have we turned our backs to a new adventure because of the one story we have heard?

The lesson I’ve learned so far from traveling is that the more you think you know, you actually know less. You end up learning a bunch of things about geography, art, culture, language, history, it is all inevitable, and none of this would have happened if I had let that one story influence me.

I am not saying a specific country is perfect, but you can be the only one to judge that, you have to experience it on your own and then tell your story.

Travelling has taught me so many things that I will be eternally grateful for, like discovering amazing songs in a different language where you don’t understand a word they are saying but it still gets you. Getting to know the craziest, nicest, interesting people with the most amazing talents and hobbies and I can assure you they will open your mind and eyes. This people are everywhere, in airports observing the passengers, in stores looking at travel guides to use as ‘reference’, you will find them in a cafe reading a book so good they barely touched their coffee or sketching people at the park. Don’t be afraid to interrupt them, to talk to them, because those are the kind of people you will forever remember.

You will also learn from them the names of beautiful cities you have never heard of, learn a word in a foreign language that describes exactly what you are feeling or you will most probably learn to cook some new dish that will become your favorite. You will learn to appreciate familiarity and your family. You will adopt a foreign culture and costumes as your own. You will find the most charming looking places while being lost. You will stumble upon a place from which you expected nothing, and it will wind up absolutely enchanting you. You will discover a city is totally different at 12 am and 12 pm. You will learn respect and appreciation for something you’d previously thought to be tedious and a waste of time.

Your math skills will definitely improve, you’ll be able to figure out the tax on the bottle of water at the airport before the lady at the cash register tells you (that way you safe your self the heart attack and the embarrassment of returning it). You will grow conscious, and will want to take care of the planet. You will fall in love with nature and wont be afraid of bugs anymore. As silly as it sounds, your driving skills will also improve (they can of have to, after having to drive hours in the middle of the night to get to a new city just in time to watch the sunrise). You will stop being so impatient. You will learn to stand up and take care of yourself. Your self-defense skills will also improve and you will learn a few good kicks. You will discover amazing authors and read books that will change your life. You will fall in love with liberty, the sun, the flowers, the moon. You will get amazing ideas for a book.

You will learn all this and so much more. And it is because of ignoring that one bad story of a country that I have done the most amazing things in my life! Who knows what will happen next…

“You don’t need to say goodbye forever to a country you really enjoy. The end of one travel experience is not the end of your travel career. You’ll be on the road again in six months, a year, two years. Getting up and leaving is an option you can make work if you want it enough. I think it’s good to remember this when you’re nearing the end of your travel experience. You’ll be back. You’ll travel again. It’s your choice.”

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