10 years ago I had never been on a plane.
I had traveled only domestically.
I had a narrow view of the world based on a restricted belief system. I never really traveled. So I believed what a group of people around me believed, said group of people living in northern New Jersey.
I also believed what the news media reported to me. News channels served as a conduit to the world.
10 years, 40 plus countries and tens of thousands of travel miles later, and I have developed quite a different belief system. Now I am open to belief systems, cultures and customs from:
- Costa Rican
- New Zealander
- Sri Lankan
people, in addition to all countries I visited for brief, hour long, swings through, like:
- El Salvador
- the Philippines
I learned a bit – or a lot – about each culture because I traveled to these far off lands and spent hours, days, weeks, months or even years immersed in these international locales.
Traveling accelerates your personal development because as your awareness expands your personal growth accelerates exponentially. Seeing life through different perspectives allows you to be open-minded, nimble, agile and flexible in traveling this human experience journey.
Nothing accelerates your personal growth like spending one month in Doha, Qatar, if you believed a decade ago that Muslims were dangerous, unfriendly people who disliked Americans. I picked up that belief largely from people in my region of the USA. The news largely propped up that belief after 9-11.
But spending 1 month in a Muslim country allowed me to teach my blog followers and social media buddies a new, truthful, honest belief system. Muslim human beings are generally like all human beings around the globe; most want to raise their family in peace, to surround themselves with friends and to make a decent living.
Muslim hospitality is quite legendary. Omani people invited me and my wife in for coffee and dates a few seconds after meeting us for the first time. Locals smiled and chatted, wanting to learn more about these “Amrikiin” world travelers and their fascinating journeys.
Traveling Dissolves Prejudice
For whatever odd reason, travelers in Southeast Asia warned me about visiting Vietnam. Travelers spread the prejudice that many Vietnamese were only after your money.
A few hours after arriving in Hoi An, a kind Vietnamese women asked us if we needed directions, guided us to a delightful, off the tourist path Vietnamese restaurant, and refused to allow us to buy her meal or to give her a tip for her kindness. She simply requested we pay it forward to other people as we circle the globe. Her intent was to make us feel welcome, loved and accepted in her beautiful country.
I am open-minded as it is but my traveling experience dissolved any semblance that fellow ignorant travelers attempted to impress on my subconscious mind.
Right now, you see the world through a pinhole if you do not travel. Life may feel comfortable but miserable because living according to a rigid, structured, unbending belief system aligned with a small group of fellow non-travelers around you tends to fuel your:
- strongly willed ignorance
- fear of the world
People where I am now seem quite friendly but based on a few conversations, some locals have a genuine distaste for anywhere urban, including people who would move here from urban areas. I do appreciate wanting to keep your own little slice of paradise to yourself but ignorance, prejudice, and other dividing, separatist, fear-based problems grow if these locals do not travel much, nor allow many travelers into their experience with open arms.
Personal Development Accelerates as Your Awareness Expands
Travel. Get out of your comfort zone. Meet more people. Learn about cultures and customs different from those in your homeland to develop:
- peace of mind
First, I found face-saving ways in Southeast Asia funny, then cute. After spending years in SE Asia I found saving face annoying sometimes because you lie to people to avoid hurting their feelings. Now I understand that saving face works perfectly for folks in SE Asia to create a sense of order, decency and kindness to their culture.
My personal growth accelerated as my awareness of different peoples, different cultures and different customs expand. I can relate compassionately with people all over the world which lets me be compassionate with people in my native USA, promoting my peace of mind and expanding my freedom.
Travel. Become more aware of the world around you to exit your comfort zone, to grow quickly and to seamlessly glide through the journey we call life.
Life becomes easier to navigate as your awareness expands.