“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Now that we all have spring fever, many us are already on the hunt for how and where to spend that summer vacation. There’s something to be said for holiday traditions in the usual spots with family or friends, yet, the typical is often just, well, typical.
Diverging from the road most traveled and heading off into the unfamiliar should not be reserved for the mountaineer summiting the Himalayas or the thrill-seeker running with the bulls in Pamplona (although we recommend it). Adventure is part of the soul of every man and should not be quelled, yielding a life of quiet desperation, as Thoreau once said.
Leaving our comfort zone is more of a mindset that shuns the homogenized approach to traveling and sees it as an opportunity to learn, find authenticity and return home a little more alive than when we left. For each of us, going beyond our personal fences of familiarity will be relative. For some, the plains of Africa feel as comfortable as home, for others it’s a place a little too far from our corner coffee shop.
Whatever the experience or location may be that pushes us beyond our boundaries, it’s ultimately a question of the vibrancy of our own curiosity. When laziness convinces us it’s too complicated, and fear says it’s too uncomfortable, alarms should sound in the halls of discovery within us.
Traveling to unseen places always has the potential to take us somewhere we did not initially intend, but it’s these experiences that not only bring spontaneity into our overly-scheduled lives, but also they push us to examine ourselves and the way we see the world. For your next trip, consider an experience that may give you an appreciation of a different culture, breakdown a stereotype, refresh your spirit, enhance your quality of life and rekindle a sense of adventure.