Why Travel?

Whenever someone tells you that they have traveled a lot, you suddenly become more interested in what that person has to say. Traveling is a really big thing in the Western world today; but why is it interesting to travel? The world gets smaller and cultures get merged together concurrently with the development of technology; it has never been easier to explore the world and stay in mahcontact with people we meet around the world. In principle, we could just look everything up on the internet; why not settle for landscape pictures and videos online?

I think we want to meet people where they are and see them doing their own thing in their local environment. As long as it agrees with the cultural identity built on stereotypes, that is. When we meet people from a different culture, we don’t really want to hear anything else than what correlates with our own perception of the country’s identity.

When we travel, the identity of a country gets blurry; we mix up how people actually are with the stereotypes from different cultures. I was a little surprised when I got to know that not all Irish people drink Guinness for breakfast or care that much about partying on St. Patrick’s Day; it was not what I wanted to hear. If you know the stereotypes of a country, and you have looked up the place beforehand, then why even go if it can break the illusion of your perception of the country’s identity? On the other hand, is the country’s identity really based upon those stereotypes? Maybe the identity of the country is not build upon the stereotypes from foreigners; it is worth going there to find out. Get rid of the stereotypes and unravel the identity of a strange place yourself!


Finding My Self Amongst Shamrocks

Have you ever found yourself thinking about how you would react if you got out of your comfort zone? Have you ever found yourself wondering what to do with your life? Have you ever found yourself believing that you could change? Have you ever found yourself?

Before I went to Ireland, I knew that I had to get out of my comfort zone to strengthen my identity. I did not know that I did not know myself. During a lecture about different theories regarding travel literature, I realized that you do not necessarily discover yourself through exploring a new country; you have to encounter the culture and the people through dialog. While traveling, you get the chance to unravel your identity, because no one has any assumptions about who you are. You get the chance to figure it out from scratch. I have discovered that I am way more social than I thought I was. I have pushed my limits, and I found out that I am capable of a lot more than I am at home where everyone thinks they know me. I thought I knew me. I came to an unknown territory, I did not have my usual social circle and I was definitely out of my comfort zone. And I survived.

The fact is that when you get out of your comfort zone, you are forced to find out how you react, and by this you have changed yourself and your perception of who you are. If you’re in doubt about what to do with your life or who you are; the solution is simple, yet transgressive. Travel the world and you will discover yourself; be more open minded towards the world than you are towards yourself to become yourself.


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