Traveling has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I’ve learned so much about myself and others while traveling outside the US that it’s hard to put into words. This post will attempt to capture some of them!
People are generally welcoming and curious.
Whether it’s someone on the street, a friend of a friend, or even an acquaintance, people are eager to talk to you about where you’re from and what you do. They want to hear your story and learn more about the place they live in. If there is an opportunity for you to make new friends and meet them in person instead of relying on social media like Facebook or Instagram, then go for it! You can learn so much by asking questions about their lives or culture without thinking twice about it—this is something that Westerners often forget because we tend to be self-centered (as Asians would say: selfish).
People will also treat you differently if they know that you are foreign; sometimes this can be annoying but other times it can turn out well because people will help each other out when they see someone unfamiliar around them who needs help with directions or advice on where to eat good food nearby…etcetera.
People are not very different from us in their outlook on life.
I realized that people are not very different from us in their outlook on life. They have the same problems, fears, and desires as you and me. Most people are just trying to make it through each day with a smile on their faces.
While traveling, I met several people who were curious about my background and where I was from. They asked if I had ever been to their country before or if there were any places they should visit while they were visiting America. People genuinely wanted to know more about me and my perspective on life as an American citizen living abroad!
They love their country and cultures.
You would be amazed at how much people love their countries and cultures. They are proud of their country and are very keen to show you around, teach you about their culture and language, and help you understand their history.
If you mention that you have never been to a particular country but would like to go someday, most people will offer to help you with planning your trip or even just recommend places for you to visit. Most foreigners who live in America love America but also want everyone else in the world to know how beautiful it is outside of our borders as well!
There is much more similarity in what we value than what we get from media.
- The media is not always accurate.
- People are generally more similar than different.
- People are more accepting of differences than you think, and they’re curious about other cultures.
Traveling outside the US was a good way to see this in action. Americans often complain about how “different” we are from other countries because of our unique cultural traits (e.g., our love for guns), but if you travel outside the US, it’s clear that we’re all basically just trying to get by like everyone else on the planet – and that can be comforting! As an American living here at home, it was hard for me to see things from a foreigner’s perspective; seeing how my country is perceived on foreign soil gave me an interesting vantage point from which I could understand myself better as an American person living in America with all its cultural quirks and idiosyncrasies!
It’s ok to be a tourist and do the things tourists do.
It’s ok to be a tourist. I know this isn’t something that most of us would admit, but it’s true. When you’re traveling outside of the United States, it’s easy to forget that you’re a tourist in another country and not truly part of that culture. It’s easy to get caught up in enjoying everything around you and day-to-day life and lose sight of the fact that your actions are observed by locals and often judged by them based on their standards. So yes! It is ok to do things tourists do!
Traveling is a great way to learn about other cultures, people, places, and yourself. You can learn about your own culture as well as what makes other places unique or commonalities between them all (beyond food). You can also learn about yourself–your strengths and weaknesses–because being away from home forces us out of our comfort zone with little preparation beforehand so we must improvise quickly when needed which helps us gain confidence in ourselves just as much as anything else on my list here today does too!
English is spoken more often than you expect.
You will be surprised how many people speak English. If you’re from the US, you might think that you’re going to be left in a foreign country without anyone to talk to. But it’s very easy to find English speakers wherever you go.
I am from the US and I’ve traveled around South America for over two years now and I can tell you that most of the people there do speak some English at least enough for them to communicate with tourists like us. Learning just one or two words in Spanish before leaving was all I needed! While traveling around Colombia last year, I found this helpful guide called “Colombia Survival Phrases” which includes expressions like “How are you?” and “Do you speak English?”
If your friends aren’t interested in traveling with you then maybe try joining an international student exchange program! This website allows users who are looking for roommates internationally as well as those who want roommates domestically (in any state).
People can be very direct in their communication style based on where they were raised.
One of the things I had to get used to was how to direct people could be in their communication style based on where they were raised. People from the US are much more indirect and polite than people from other countries. Americans say things like, “I would like…” or “If you don’t mind…” whereas Europeans will cut right to the chase and tell you what they want without beating around the bush. A great example of this is when we asked our Airbnb host in Germany if there was a grocery store nearby (she said yes), but she didn’t give us any further directions as to where it was. She simply told us that if we walked out her front door and crossed over a road, then walked straight for 10 minutes, we’d find it at the end of that road—no hesitation whatsoever! It took me a while to get used to this directness since I often use “um”s instead of getting right into my thoughts.
Don’t assume people will like or dislike your country or politics, it’s better to ask politely.
While traveling abroad, I learned that it’s best not to assume things about other people. Just because someone is from another country doesn’t mean they’ll automatically have a negative opinion of the United States. But on the flip side, just because someone lives in America doesn’t mean they automatically think our government is perfect either. One thing I learned while traveling outside of the US was that people are just people; they’re different but don’t necessarily dislike each other for it!
It can be easy to get offended if someone doesn’t agree with what you’re saying when you don’t even know if they support your views or not! It’s always better to ask politely rather than assume anything about another person based on where they come from—and no matter where they’re from (or where we live), we can all learn something new from one another!
You don’t need to learn a language to travel, but try to learn some basic words for “hi” and “thank you” in the country you’re visiting!
People who can speak the local language have a significant advantage when traveling. For example, if you’re going to China, learning some basic words will help your experience so much more than not knowing anything at all. Even if you don’t know how to say anything complex like “I would like a glass of water”, being able to say “water” or “thank you” is enough for people around you to understand what you need and where/how they can help. This will make communication much easier, as well as give everyone in the place where they serve food and drinks an opportunity to practice their English with someone who is trying their best!
Nowadays there are many free apps available that teach languages such as Spanish or French within minutes. If someone’s interested but doesn’t know where or how exactly then try searching online before leaving home because otherwise, it might take forever (and money).
Their food tends to be spicy! If you don’t like that, ask for mild food when you order (or find mild items on a menu).
- Mild food is your friend. If you can’t handle spicy food, order mild or ask the waiter/waitress if they have anything milder. I like to get things that are labeled “mild” or “not very spicy” on menus because it’s an easy way to take the guesswork out of ordering when your tongue isn’t used to tasting spices in certain combinations.
- Spicy is just one flavor among many! Just like how Americans don’t eat everything covered in maple syrup (I’m looking at you, apple pie), not everyone eats their food super spicy. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be delicious! I love me some good old-fashioned American barbecue sauce on my ribs just as much as I love a good dose of chili paste with my noodles.”
They sleep with the windows open, so if you’re used to air conditioning prepare for a little discomfort! It’s also amazing to hear the sounds at night outside your window.
It’s amazing how much you can learn about a place if you observe its people. For example, I didn’t know that in Barcelona, they sleep with the windows open! This might be because air conditioning isn’t as common in Europe or it could be because of all the activities that take place at night and during the day that make sleeping less important than it is in America. Either way, it was an interesting observation to see this cultural difference between my own home country and another one.
It also helps you realize just how different parts of the world function compared to here. For example, what do kids do when they’re bored? They go outside!
They have street markets that sell everything from dinner to clothes. Spend some time wandering around these areas, it’s fascinating!
You should spend some time wandering around these areas because they are fascinating. You can find everything from dinner to clothes, and you’ll have the opportunity to meet interesting people.
You might be surprised at what you find!
Traveling has enriched my life more than anything I’ve ever done.
Traveling is a great way to learn about the world, yourself, other people, and their cultures. You can’t put a price on those experiences. Traveling will make you more open-minded and more grateful for what you have in life. When I came back home it took me a while to get used to things but once I did I realized that everything was so much easier than before!