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The travelling pay off?

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1. Posted by jennygro (Full Member 119 posts) 8y

Do you travel to get to know other people? or to get to know yourself?

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 8y

For me my travels paid off in terms of having a wider vision on the world and life. Learning different cultures makes you understand the world much better. Before going to Asia it was all normal to me (the luxury). Since I have seen poverty, this all changed. I am a lucky bastard to life in the west.

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 12, 2006, at 8:32 AM by wouterrr ]

3. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 8y

For the rest it is great to meet locals to see how they life. You never forget these kind of experiences.

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 12, 2006, at 8:34 AM by wouterrr ]

4. Posted by Anciana (Budding Member 9 posts) 8y

Since for several decades I traveled predominantly on business, the purpose of said travel was to help solve an existing - or aniticipated - business problem. Yet solving a problem would often not be possible without knowledge of both local culture(s) and local (most;ly legal) rules and regulations affecting behavior of the people ( and entities) involved.
Thus I usually had to learn enough about the local culture and the laws - and often of the religion(s) that affected the said culture, before I set forth on a trip. If the trip was short, I usually only was able to meet and superficially get to know people involved in that business, sometimes I could add a weekend to do sightseeing: I am a big fan of both arts and nature. Sometimes I could make friends with unrelated people, who sat next to me on a plane (an advantage of traveling alone) and be invited home to them (an advantage of being a woman: you appear more approachable and friendly and less threatening that a male - I guess...).

Short trips also meant "global" five or four star hotels - not an environment where you can spontaneously meet locals for a chat.
But on long term assignaments, lasting from a few months to a year or so, I could rent an apartment or a small house ( I neither wanted nor needed a big one) with only minimal staff (a part time housekeeper and gardener) - then I could meet locals, both neighbors - usually fairly affluent locals - and families and friends of my local staff (once they learned to trust me and treat me as equal - wjich in authority oriented cultures if fairly difficult - albeit a "slightly" better paid equal) and I loved it.

Though, being an introvert in a very extroverted profession, I also enjoyed tremendously the ability to make in depth excursions into nature and the local art scene: to observe architecture, visit musea, art galeries and other venues of visual and performing art - alone.

Now, as a "vagabond retiree" I often work with non-profits in so called developing nations (though I try to concentrate on those that are not developing adequately mainly due to political reasons) to help them to develop capacity to be more successful. There I try to "go native" as much as it is possible for me (due to age and helth issues I sadly require more comforts than the majority of locals can afford), live among locals, try to communicate in their language - at least in some level and respect their culture without abandoning my integrity ( I won't stand for any kind of machismo or religiously oriented oppresion of women, people of color, gays etc.). It is usually exhilarating work requiring a huge dose of creativity, since they are most often woefully underfunded in comparison to the needs they try to satisfy, but it is also tirening, so after each stint I try to relax for at least a few weeks on a beach, in a jungle, in the mountains, limiting contacts with people and enjoying nature. And after that I go vist a metropolis, where I can enjoy big city cultural amenities... and then it is off to a new people adventure :) I can't imagine a better retirement: my brain is in less danger of "shrinking" through nonuse, and I can help those most in need of assistance, who could never had been able to afford my services when I was professionally active.
The only sad aspect is what I learn about myself: that my physical limits grow and grow and I am not physically able to work as much as I am needed.

5. Posted by aprilsgal (Full Member 161 posts) 8y

Quoting jennygro

Do you travel to get to know other people? or to get to know yourself?

I think its a bit of both... and u never which happens when!

6. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

Neither, but at least you get to go bungee jumping.

7. Posted by hey_monkee (Respected Member 430 posts) 8y

I think you end up learning a lot about yourself while travelling - especially if you're going it alone! It may not be the reason you went travelling for, buy it ends up happening anyway;)

8. Posted by kevstump (Full Member 123 posts) 8y

i already know myslef....i am kev. I travel to meet people and see interesting stuff - and most imporantly to have fun

9. Posted by moutallica (Respected Member 122 posts) 8y

Quoting wouterrr

Since I have seen poverty, this all changed. I am a lucky bastard to life in the west.

I'm not saying that I am not extremely fortunate to have what I have, however, I have also learned so much from other cultures. In the Philippines for example, you could visit a little village where poverty was of course everywhere. But the thing is that people were happy. The smiles on their faces were genuine smiles of happiness, unlike the ones you see at home. Please note that this is not always the case, and it seems to apply more to rural places, away from the big cities. I also truly experienced this in the northern part of Romania. There may not be a lot of money, but people have what they really need (not only material goods) and are truly happy with that.

The big problem I see with the so called "American Dream", is that it is "the pursuit of happiness" and not happiness itself. When your dream is to keep pursuing happiness, you will never be happy with what you have. So you have a car? Big deal, you need a faster car. Have a house? you need a bigger house. It's never enough.

10. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 8y

Most people do not know themselves... it's a hard thing to know.