The benefits of traveling

Where to start! So you want to know the benefits of traveling?! What could possibly be so great about traveling long term. Well, let me tell you that traveling is not all about sitting on a beach all day drinking margaritas – but I can do that more often now since the ocean is like 10 mins away (I love it). Sometimes I freak out a little bit…about everything happening. Life is short, right? You have one life to live and you fully choose what you do with it whether you believe you have that control or not, just bear in mind there are consequences to each and every action. Life is all about how you view things, and how you learn from it. For example, I am not making money in Peru by any means. My financial status is maybe considered stagnant or sustainable, but I am not making money or putting away for retirement. How I see it is a as a “study abroad” class that I am sustaining myself off of instead of going in debt and taking out thousands of dollars for a trip for maybe three college credits and a load of debt. Here are some great reasons you should travel, which does not necessarily mean living abroad, just traveling abroad.

Different Lifestyles

Different Food

Different Culture

You learn more about yourself

You learn your strengths and weaknesses

You learn to appreciate everything so much more (even small things)

You have a better understanding of the world

You can find a new passion

New places

New love

Different Lifestyles

This seems obvious, but you can see the difference in people’s everyday life. How do people get to work? How do people act towards one another? What is the everyday climate and atmosphere about people in a particular area, and how do they treat you as a foreigner?20180520_160742.jpg

Different Food

The food is by far my favorite part. I love trying new dishes, strange dishes, exotic dishes, tribal dishes, and everything that is considered taboo! Seeing and trying what people eat you learn to have a better understanding on processes, historical value, and the overall change in the food culture. I am especially looking forward to trying food from the jungle!20180429_193107.jpg

Different Culture

This topic is incredibly general, but that is the best part of it. Each culture with each country can be a little different, or it can be black and white different. That is the amazing thing about learning it. You may never have imagined people living a certain way, which can help you learn about your own life too! For example, here in Peru people are a little selfish – on the bus, walking on the sidewalks, etc, and it helps me appreciate and miss the people in the Midwest so much more! Miss y’all! However, not all cultural differences are negative. A more positive cultural difference is that the people here take so much pride in their culture, their food, their historical background and of course their alcoholic beverage – Pisco. Remember – Lima is much different than the inland of the country, and I will gladly share that with you coming soon, when I take my trip in mid/end May.

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Pisco Sour – Of course there are better Pisco than this, this is only a premixed sweet drink 

You learn more about yourself

This one is definitely one of my favorite things about traveling. You really learn who you are, how you overcome challenges that you face almost on a daily basis. You learn about your character. Do you accept the culture that you are in? Do you catch yourself judging others? Do you fully dive into their culture and learn with an open mind? These are just a few questions that you can answer for yourself when you travel. Traveling can help open your mind and fully reveal the type of person you are and show what you can and cannot do, but mainly what you can do, because anything is possible!

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Our departure from Chicago to Lima – We were so excited!

You learn your strengths and weaknesses

This relates to the last point mentioned above about learning about yourself. For example, one of my weaknesses is expressing myself publicly. As stated in a previous post, I walked away from dancing salsa in public in Barranco because it makes me uncomfortable, but I recognize the strengths in me as well. For example, I love the idea of buying a plane ticket and just forcing myself to go somewhere. Once you buy that ticket, its showtime! If you do not know your strengths and weaknesses, traveling is a 100 percent guarantee. *Exception – all inclusive resorts*

You learn to appreciate everything so much more (even small things)

Once you learn how different things are from your hometown/home country, you start to miss certain things. Sometimes you realize you have taken things for granted. You start to appreciate the smaller things in life like drinking water from the tap at home and now having to buy bottled water everywhere you go – sometimes in large 7L containers. I was sick of living in Wisconsin with my family, because I wanted something new and bigger only to realize that where I live is beautiful, peaceful, and you know…home. This is not to say that I do not like Lima, it is just different, and it really highlights things from home that make you stop, think, and appreciate what you have and what you have experienced a little more. I will return home one day and appreciate everything I wanted to leave behind. However, you do learn a new appreciation for other places that become your new home in a way, so returning to home you still feel as if you are not home. Make sense?

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I miss my trees, my lakes, my Wisconsin Sunsets

You have a better understanding of the world

Latin America is home to many coffee plantations that are exported to the United States and many other countries in the world. I have been invited in Southern Lima to go visit a plantation (maybe even work on one), and I am an avid coffee drinker so this would be something I am incredibly interested in as I can learn how coffee is produced. I also have conducted an extensive research paper on coffee production and the Political Ecology, which I am very proud of. ANYWAY, living and traveling to new parts of the world can show you how the world functions together and how each part of the world has their own part. Also, you can see the negative sides and poverty that cover many parts of the world. Learning about poverty and seeing the people affected by this from life habits, corruption, lack of infrastructure, failing economy, and many other factors highlights the great things we have in our own country (if you are from a first world country). Summing this up, traveling to another country can help you see different sides and different roles to the world’s functions and understand the processes and lifestyles people have from day to day.

You can find a new passion

Of course you are going to try new things while traveling! Why would we travel if everything was the same?! Lima, is home to many surfers! I believe Peru has the widest spanning beaches for surfing which draws in a lot of tourism. I know when I try surfing, it is going to be one of my new favorite hobbies. Not only surfing, but when you are interacting with people every day, you make new connections, and it is very possible to find something in these relationships that lead you to your passions. This include a career, hobby, interest, or something completely different! Go out and find your passion!

New love

Traveling can lead to new types of love. It can be the love of the world, the people, the culture, the food, THE LANDSCAPE, or of course people.

There are lots of negatives to traveling as well, but I KNOW the positives outweigh the negatives and can be used for a time of transformation and personal success and growth! Learning about yourself and your weaknesses while gaining a bigger appreciation of the little things in life with a better understanding of the world, with the possibility of finding a new passion and love, man..I think that sounds like a great deal to me! Especially when you try new foods! New experiences, new tastes, ah! and of course new friends!! I have met so many great people in Peru so far – My students, people at my church, Venezuelans, my roommates and more!

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So, you decide. Want to get out and travel? You might learn a thing or two. What have you learned while traveling? I would love to know. Leave a comment or a question in the comments, or better yet, send me a message!

Cheers.

Worldwide Chris

P.S. – I am traveling through Huaraz as you are reading this, so tune in the next week to see the next post on the food, cultural differences 8 hours north of Lima, and of course the Landscape! I’ll share life lessons learned in the weeks stay in trekking paradise! Until then!

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