Value of travelling
I have travelled to 11 different countries so far. It has opened up my worldview of how different societies and cultures function. The travel I did after turning 18 has been profound.
There is only so much you can learn from a screen or travel book. You need to be able to hear the loud motorcycles in Hanoi, see people crossing Shibuya, and smell the 2 am donor kebabs in Berlin.
The below quote from Good Will Hunting articulates it well.
I bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling.Seeing that.
Don't need much to be content
Coming from Sydney, Australia, and growing up in an affluent area, I believed we need more 'things' in life. To show one's value in society. But when you travel to a developing nation, you integrate yourself into a society where people live off a few dollars a day. They get by fine. They could have more but the bare essentials are a roof over their head, water, some food, and a loving community to be around. It's framed my values to be more simple and less materialistic.
Language is a great tool
As I learn Spanish, being able to understand their way of life is a beautiful thing. When I was speaking Japanese it was interesting to get to know people's life stories. Being able to learn the art of communication through text and speech is a great way to learn more about the world. It unlocks doors to perspectives. It helps me learn about their history, hardships, and individual world views.
Everyone is suffering and has their own challenge.
We identify ourselves to be special in this 'human body' container. However, you and I are no different. We all have life experiences (both good and bad) that shape who we are. We experience sadness and happiness in different parts of our lives. These emotions are all the same regardless of age, gender, or ethnic background.
Would love to keep visiting more countries and learn more about the world once borders start to open up.