“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” .- Marcel Proust
Singaporeans are notorious for wanting to book a quick getaway any chance they get. A quick google search would tell you that Singaporeans are the 7th largest spenders on vacations, pretty high on the list. The idea of being able to travel and experience different cultures has been a goal for people around the world and in an increasingly interconnected world, we might need to reassess what it really means to travel.
For many, a casual trip to Bangkok would entail a shopping spree, massages, good food and nice beaches- a chance to escape the stress of living in a fast-paced metropolis such as ours. But more than some coveted free time, what can we learn from travelling?
- 1. Being appreciative
Travelling can make one more aware of the small things in life that often go unnoticed. For instance, many tend to complain about the “inefficiency” of our transport systems or public utilities. However, visiting other developed or developing countries can teach us to be more appreciative of what is already there. Learning to see the good in a minor inconvenience can lead to a broader perspective and a less stressful approach on life.
- 2. Living in the moment
Sounds simple but it’s not, especially since people have become incredibly adept at multitasking. The fixation on what’s to come is prevalent and frankly, quite damaging. When you’re in a foreign country however, you have that luxury of taking a step back, becoming one with nature, and fully taking in the experience. Of course, that depends on how you prioritise your time, but it is definitely possible to immerse yourself in an experience without thinking of “what’s next”.
- 3. Humility
Be it the grandiosity of nature or the kindness of strangers, there’s something humbling about the experience of travelling, Think about it, regardless of how much time or money you have, when things happen in a foreign country, sometimes there’s nothing you can do about the situation, at least back home, there would be no language barrier or a network that could assist you. While it may make us feel small at times, it serves as an effective reminder that the world does not owe us anything
- 4. Spontaneity
Life is generally unpredictable. Sometimes things do not go as planned, and that’s okay. There’s something about being in a foreign country that stretches us past our comfort zones and pushes us to try new things. Sometimes, letting go of control and letting nature take its course can show you a different side of life. To miss out on opportunities because of fear would be such a shame. Chase the unknown, let go of preconceived notions and chase the unknown.
Travelling helps us realise things that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. More than the destination, spoils and “mental escape”, the experience gives us an opportunity for growth, which is truly priceless.