Traveling the world really instills a different paradigm reality into your daily thinking. It’s a collection of things that you tend to pick up as opposed to seek out and develop. This is because the environment in which you are traveling is constantly changing and is monumentally different than your home land.
These are simply my experiences, they have differed from day to day and you certainly might not have the same. I’m detailing what I’ve seen and learned and how my view has been shaped, and things you could experience, which is why this piece is written the way it is.
Whether you’re exploring new places to simply sightsee, or you’re used to being a semi-permanent nomad, different types of perspective-shifting occurrences will constantly make their way into your life.
Let’s begin with some:
1. Traveling Violently Rocks Your World View
What exactly does this mean? It means that a steady influx of different stimuli, that help you see how the world fits together and why, become your daily experience.
Especially if you’re a connoisseur of history, wars, or relationships, you are immersed in the culture and customs that are vastly different from your own. You start to get curious about the nations you reside in, and why they are like they are. When you travel, you’ll soon be interested in what wars took place for the competition of territories and terrains that have been shaped the way they were. You will start to see the influence of similar languages and also recognize that there’s no such thing as a “’homogenized” nation.
Seeing a culture with very similar-looking citizens interact can continue the myth of the homogenized nation. You are often confused because you don’t realize that they came from all around and have meshed their cultures, reproduced, and passed down certain habits for living.
For instance, in one country, there are hundreds of other nations, with ancestry that influence the way most of its people look and act. There’s no such thing as “one people.” Everyone is a specific percentage or mix between different cultures and history.
They call America the big melting pot, but everywhere in the world is such a pot; it just varies by the degree of differences you witness.
2. Your Self-View is Ruthlessly Dissected & Built Back Up
If we’re affected by #1., we can’t help but look inward constantly and wonder where exactly we came from, why we gravitate to certain things and people, what social norms we blindly follow, and the evolutionary reasons behind our food choices.
Cultures of antiquity would throw up at the thought of some of our modern food, while we would refrain from eating any of theirs as well.
You think a pizza is normal and appetizing? A mix of modern wheat, gluten, dairy and pork might make a young man in Israel who enjoys chocolate-covered locusts gag, and vice versa.
The world is so diverse, and it’s common to not stop to ponder what types of norms and social mores influenced some of your most basic decisions.
Have you ever asked yourself simple questions like:
“Why am I wearing this type of clothing?”
“Why do I think that eating eggs, plants, meat, cheese, or fish is normal?”
“What did my ancestors look like / come from / eat 20,000 years ago?”
“Why am I this height?”
“Why do I have this type of food allergen; where does it stem from?”
“What percentage of my bone/facial/DNA structure was influenced by each parent?”
These are just a few of the myriad ideas that tend to stem from simply stepping outside of every environmental stimulus you have ever been around.
When everything is taken away, you get down to some seriously basic fundamentals, and often learn the answers to the aforementioned questions.
Environment is everything, and there are multiple reasons why the rich get richer, poor get poorer, people make certain food and clothing decisions, or behave in certain ambitious ways or not. Traveling reveals many of these factors that were hiding before.
3. You Are All of a Sudden Deeply Instilled With Global Purpose
I would be hard-pressed to find a person who, with a true entrepreneurial spirit, is not incredibly inspired by travel to create more for themselves and others in the world. Traveling to lands that have so much less than you do is a deeply mind-altering experience.
When you start to be truly and genuinely thankful for drinkable tap water, regularly clean air, the ability to buy toilet paper and soap, and other simple necessities; you’re instantly instilled with a larger purpose of leaving a bigger legacy to help than ever before.
Now, I’ve met hundreds of travelers who have no desire like this, but these are usually simply the nomads who are out for the experience and just passing through. They will be back to their comfortable homes soon and are not necessarily throwing themselves into the uncomfortable environments for long periods of time to grow and develop.
No judgment there. The most commonly asked question, coupled with an extremely confused face, when I have lived in and out of hostels is… “You’re living in this country? Like… for a long time?”
To which I replied: “Yes.”
I had moved to Asia to save money on bills, network with successful go-getters, and build my empire bare bones, from the ground up. This strikes many people as crazy or surprising, but it simply does not matter to me. Again, if you know what you want and where you are going, you can ignore the white noise and chatter and simply head there.
It was often hard for many backpackers travelers to understand, and was amusing when I talked about it with them. However, they’re on a different mission. Their main destination seemed to be “everywhere”, which I think is pretty cool. I also share the same destination, and am gradually seeing more and more of the world. I don’t want to be limited at all, which is why I G.R.I.N.D. to get what I want and keep making money as I go! I enjoyed trading stories and nomad experiences with them, because most of these people are seasoned movers, full of life, and curious for what life has to offer in different countries.
But when you’re constantly in a new and uncomfortable environment with horrible air, power outages, sometimes lack of basic needs, and you see that many people simply live these ways and adapt, it strikes on a few heart chords.
Personally, it has filled me with even more fuel and purpose that I can apply to go out and help people become all that they can be, so our world can be more deeply impacted, where it matters, in a variety of different ways.
4. Traveling Forces Your Gratitude to Increase Tenfold
I don’t care how great you are at practicing gratitude now; if you’ve never visited third world countries and seen how they live, you still have a ton of opportunity for improvement.
Walking through deserted alleyways that would pass for the worst hoods of America, strip malls, food stalls and restaurants that are simply outdoor shacks made of hanging plastic and tin walls, plastic chairs fit for a four year old, you recognize how much you appreciate things like basic tap water being clean, food being cooked with healthy oils, and fresh fish, meats, food and drinks without loads of sugar. These restaurants are an excellent culture experience and tons of fun, though.
You also adapt to not looking over your shoulder every five seconds in these run-down areas, because that is the norm of many places. They are actually much safer than the projects in America, but that’s a story for another day.
I realized when I came from the states that there is a ton of processed food everywhere in the world, not just backed by major US corporations. The sugary drinks run rampant in most parts of Southeast Asia and the types of food they cook are heavily tossed in vegetable oils that your cells treat as plastic, sugary concoctions abound, and fatty meats that cannot be coming from the cleanest sources.
I became so much more thankful on a daily basis simply to have access to Internet and a nice computer to research the things I needed to put in my body, and avoid. I became more thankful on a daily basis to be around friends that I enjoy who are also working on exciting projects, my family being close to me when I lived at home, and the overall standards my home country had in place for air emissions, cleaner tap water, and the wide array of healthy food options that were available.
5. You Recognize How Many Influences Are Not Your Own
As in Ecclesiastes, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.”
When you’re constantly bombarded by your parents’ thoughts and the schools’ view, you recognize that the media, the Internet, and the friends you’re around all contribute a significant part to some of your very deepest beliefs.
Warren Buffett suggests you should get rid of one of your best ideas every year. I think this isn’t enough, as we’ve been fed lots of garbage from different sources.
When you vibe with someone ahead of you that you aspire to emulate, I suggest pounding some of their ideas and content into your head like a pressure hose.. There’s so much NOISE out there, that we’ve got to come back and create a solid and grounded foundation. Be very choosy with what type of content you listen to.
Protect the center of your mind and always make sure that you’re weeding out what doesn’t help you become the best you.
It’s safe to say that someone else passed down every single thing that you know to be true. If not, at least the root thought came from them.
You learned to walk from your parents, to speak right from your teachers, to write a specific way and hold certain items in school, and how to run and play sports from friends. You learned every foundational thought you’ve built upon from books, courses or presentations, hence you have simply never had a 100% original idea.
If a pack of panthers somehow raised you in the jungle, you would not verbalize or think in the ways you do now. You would walk like them, on all fours, climb like them, stalk prey and hunt like them, and likely adapt to eating raw deer, hog, armadillo, rabbit, and raccoon meat.
You start to realize so much is simply picked up through osmosis, translated by others, and then passed down and developed further into your own brain.
I believe we have some thoughts that are our own, however I do not see that there could be a 100% original thought that has no base or foundation from others that came before it
There’s nothing new under the sun.
Take What You Can Learn – Always
No matter where you’re from in the world, traveling to different parts of it is sure to disrupt some old beliefs, and stir up who you think you are.
I can guarantee some fundamental changes will happen when you’re traveling, and these types of shifts especially occur when you’re outside your home country for months or years at a time. You really dive into who you are and where you’re from, why you’re here, what you’re doing to make every life better, and what you want to do before you pass onwards.
It’s an incredible paradigm-shifting experience and I highly suggest people of all ethnicities and genders take a stroll around this playground that we call our home.