Today I want to talk about traveling because I will be traveling a lot this summer, starting today, and I feel inspired.
In fact, traveling is a necessary part of my life for two main reasons.
First, I do not live in my home country. I am in the US, but my family is in Turkey. That in and of itself makes me travel a good amount because I visit my family. So I get to travel across continents every year.
This is coupled with the fact that we are forced to travel for conferences, workshops etc. in academia.
So, I travel a lot.
I think the biggest disadvantage of traveling is that it makes me tired. But benefits overweight the tiredness. They are not even comparable.
What are the benefits?
For me, the best thing about traveling is how illuminating it is. How it broadens horizons. First, you get to know the differences between countries and people. That contributes a lot to our body of knowledge. But more importantly for me, the more countries or cities I travel to, the more convinced I become that we humans are the same wherever we are. This was my main thought when I first moved to the US. Now, obviously, the Turkish and American cultures are different. But the people embodying these cultures are fundamentally so similar that I am still very astonished and moved by this observation.
Traveling tells me about humanity. About the unity in humanity.
This is such a big life lesson. But not the only one.
Another benefit is that we get to learn how to handle things.
If you travel at all, then you know that many things go wrong when we are traveling. Smooth travels are not that common. Something is almost bound to go wrong.
But we handle them. We brain-storm for solutions, including what can be done and what we have available at that given moment. We learn how to make the most of the restricted solution options we have.
This is also such a big life lesson. But again, there is more.
Not only do we learn how to solve things, we also become very adapted to how life is. You know, life is not smooth. Things go wrong (wrong in the meaning of ‘not as we expected’). When we travel, we get used to facing problems so much that we become adaptive to things not going smooth. This extends to other parts of our lives as well. We start becoming less reactive and more adaptive to changes.
This is yet another big life lesson.
Do you travel? What did you learn from traveling? Any big life lessons? If you do not travel much, do you want to travel more and if so, what is your motivation? Let’s talk!