Updated: Sep 3, 2019
There’s something amazing about this ability to travel on an airplane for 8 hours and land yourself inside a culture completely different from your own.
Okay, sometimes it’s more than 8 hours.
Our first trip home from Africa, we stopped for a few days in Rome, to decompress, gather our thoughts, rest and prepare for the transition ahead.
After an 8 hour flight, we were transported into a new land, where I could use the tap water to brush my teeth (but I wasn’t absolutely sure, so I didn’t), where we awoke to cathedral bells (instead of the call to prayer), and where the community only spoke Italian (because we were on a budget and stayed in an apartment outside the city).
It was a little surreal, all the drastic change. Some of it was refreshing. Some of it was challenging.
We went to order pizza from a local pizzeria, and quickly discerned that english was not understood, so out came my husband’s words in graceful Swahili...??
I whispered, ”ummmm babe, we’re not in Tanzania anymore, I don’t think he understands you.” We laughed and moved on to pointing to the slices we wanted.
Experiencing a new culture has much to offer us in expanding our worldview, trying new things, and learning about ourselves. I think the biggest things I’ve learned through travelling are, the ability to let go of control and be flexible, and to laugh at myself amidst all the things I don’t know.
These were especially important lessons travelling in Africa, where life beats to the rhythm of the day - not to schedules or appointments. So when the bus doesn’t come on time, or the bus was repaired with duct tape and needs fixing yet again, your plans get delayed and you find yourself sitting on the side of the dusty African road; you learn to go with the flow.
Truly, given the opportunity, I’d travel anywhere :) But if it were up to me to pick 5, off the top of my head, it would be:
Some are the host countries to friends, and some are countries that intrigue me with their cultural differences and heritages.
Maybe it’s because the travel bug bit me, or because we learned to love adapting to a new culture, but the enjoyment of travelling and new adventures has been instilled deep inside me. I love sitting in the airport, waiting at the gate. It’s the nostalgia of the anticipated adventure ahead.
What are 5 countries you want to visit next??
(let’s say the costs were covered, babysitters were provided and you had extra vacation from work)
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