What's sitting at the root of so much that we do wrong in this world? Prejudice, ignorance and bigotry.
How does this state of mind manifest in us? By being insular, lacking empathy, allowing ourselves to be only familiar with our little corner of the world.
An antidote? Travel.
When you push yourself out of your comfort zone and take the time to really see a different culture, you start to sip at the antidote of life's poisonous attitudes.
Travel exposes you to different perspectives, experiences, history, culture, religions and ultimately, a better self.
In this video feature below, from the words of the well-travelled, I explore why people travel and what it teaches them.
Perhaps, you may relate.
Three things travel WILL teach you, each and every time
1. To really feel alive
We're always told that to seek happiness, you need to try and live in the moment. And it feels almost impossible to do this in the process of your nine-to-five job and in the midst of routine. You've seen it all before, so your mind moves in a habitual motion just passing it all by. But when you travel, your mind is there, you experience so much for the first time that without any effort, you're present in the moment. It's no wonder so many people become addicted to travelling. It's a constant rush of adrenaline and adventure. The perfect way to reinvigorate yourself, and can be a great way to shake-up your life.
2. To become less ignorant
I've never come away from a trip, without an preconceived idea, a prejudice, completely shattered. No matter how hard we try, we only know how to believe, think and act within the parameters of what we've been taught. So although we may try to enter into a new culture with what we think is an open-mind, we can walk away realising just how closed it actually was. You don't know until you're educated. And the best way to educate yourself about another culture, religion, another countries politics or way of life, is by putting yourself right... there... in it.
3. To find a better self
You're constantly challenged when you're travelling. You're forced to challenge preconceived ideas, to learn how to communicate when no one in the conversation speaks the same language, to speak-up when you need to meet new people. You're challenged by stepping out of your comfort zone, by navigating your way around a new town. When you're running out of money but need to keep going, and when you find yourself somewhere so unfamiliar in every regard, that you feel a sense of fear, and you know the only way to overcome it, is by opening up your mind. If you face all of these challenges, it's inevitable that you will come away a better person. Not least because you're just simply, more empathetic.
Follow Emily Verdouw on Twitter: www.twitter.com/emilyverdouw