Wanderlust has taken me to many places. Places that have taught me things that I wouldn’t have truly understood in depth if I hadn’t visited in the first place. When you travel you don’t just learn about that country, you learn more about your own country because you begin to realize that the “world” you know, is nothing more than a collection of the places that you’ve been to.
Take pride in where you’re from and stop shitting on your city so much
I’m reminded of this one pretty often since the United States is on most people’s “must go” lists. Just like you’re dreaming of traveling to your dream destination, there’s a local from there who’s dreaming of going to where you’re from. When I was in Cannes, France I met a local who studied abroad in Boston. So here I am, not exploring my city and spending my time making plans to visit France when some of their residents are picking my city out of all the other places in the world to come live at.
Happiness is what you make it
I used to think “well if I were in ____ then I’d be so happy” or “if I just moved to ___ then all my problems would go away” but that’s not the way the world works. All that changes around you is your environment and although it’s an amazing feeling to wake up on the other side of the world, after the initial excitement is over you’re still left with yourself. So if you hate your job and what you’re doing then by all means take a vacation! But remember that if you don’t fix the issue, you’ll still be coming back to the same problems that made you want to leave in the first place. I know it might be hard but if you were able to be that cheerful abroad, find a way to make your everyday life feel like that.
It’s a small world
Alright, alright.. so maybe it’s a big world but this whole “six degrees of separation” deal, is real. Guys, I was using Tinder when I was traveling (a dating app but I just used it to make friends with the locals, nothing else psh duh) and when you’re swiping it shows you if you have any mutual friends based on your Facebook profile and I kid you not, I HAD MUTUAL FRIENDS WITH 1 OUT OF EVERY 5 PEOPLE. Am I the only one who finds this crazy?? I was in Europe and 20% of the men around my age in the area knows someone I know. I don’t even know how that’s possible. Sure, I’ll admit I’m not besties with everyone on my friends list but I still find that bizarre.
Every city has a vibe and you’ll never know what it is until you get there
What you know about most places is only a commercialized version so don’t expect places to be perfect and don’t assume a country isn’t fun because you never hear people talk about it. That’s what I learned when I visited London. In my head, it was this amazing place where everyone had cute accents and sipped tea all day long.. and although it was, it wasn’t what I had expected it at all. While some wanted to stay longer, I couldn’t wait to leave! Then we went to Belgium, a country I’ve never really planned on visiting and it became one of my favorite countries. You really just don’t ever know and you shouldn’t trust anyone else’s opinion on it much either because everyone has a different reaction to it.
I know it’s human nature but we stereotype so much!
Does Brazil have beautiful women? Yes, but we have a lot of ugly ones too so don’t expect it to be like in TV shows. Does Italy have amazing food? Yes, but you think that just because you crossed that border that suddenly every restaurant is five stars and every chef was born with God given talent to make your taste buds go wild because… well because it’s Italy and that’s what they’re known for right?!
Well I’m sorry to burst your bubble but it doesn’t always work that way. I ate some of my best meals there but that was all because my friend Marshall yelped everything haha. Shoutout to you Marsh, but the times where we just gave up and sat at a random restaurant things didn’t always go well. Not saying that you can’t be spontaneous but sometimes it pays off to not assume and do your research.
We are all the same
We look different, we sound different, and we live differently but in being human, we share the same emotions and necessities as one another. This became clear to me when I took a class with international students from all around the world. I was spending so much time with them that I got to see how similar we all are. We all dance when someone plays music, whether its Indian pop or reggae. We all want to make new friends, be liked, get good grades, be respected, it’s all the same despite our opposite lifestyles. My friends and I decided to make a group chat so we could stay in touch and around this time we’re all texting each other about how stressed we are for midterms. We live in four different countries and three different continents and here we are, all concerned about if we’re going to do well or not. Simple things like that never cease to amaze me.