How to Travel without Pride and Prejudice

by - Monday, February 29, 2016

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We all love to travel; that's a given and that bucket list of places we want to go?
Endless (and it just keeps getting longer!)

Thanks to the evolution of technology and the availability of information almost at a click, the idea of travel just creeps into our minds throughout the day (if it hasn't already settled down permanently in the mind)

Everywhere that we have never been to, or even been to before just looks alluring and heaven forbid when we spot another photo of a location we have just visited, yet did not capture that shot (Dang!) and the vicious cycle begins again.
Everywhere, when it comes to ticking off the bucket list or just to set the mood on travel, is good.
Almost, everywhere.

"I hate that country!"

"I will never, ever go back to that country!"

"I will never ever want to even set foot in that country!"

"Their people are just the worst I've ever seen!"

"That country is never on my bucket list, I'm sorry. I never even thought of it, at all"


Sounds familiar?

While there are countries which we yearn to go (on that list of must-visit places before I die; means even at my dying breath, I must see that place), there are also countries and places that we are dead set against setting our feet upon.

There could be many reasons for that decision, of course; varying from political, national restrictions (prohibitions by the country's regulation), personal preferences, bad experiences, family objections, health, safety, recommendations by others, international ban, and the list just goes on.

There is nothing wrong with not wanting to travel to certain places for the many reasons stated and even unstated, for it all comes down to one's personal preferences.

Traveling is all about enjoying oneself, of course; after all, that is the purpose of heading off to another place, away from work and home and making use of one's entitled leave days from work; or at least, that's the intended objective when the word travel is mentioned.

While fun and happiness are clearly the primary goals, there are so much more to traveling than just enjoying oneself.

Traveling is about discovering a new place; one that is different from the very one we hail from.
We will meet new people, try new food, stay in environments unlike our homes (though hotels standardize across the world, there's still the difference in the local customer services and cultures to observe), and familiarizing ourselves with the local time (if we're in a different time zone).

Traveling is about learning.
We learn about the history, background and the way people from other countries live.
We learn about the obstacles they faced and also the technology they used which could be way more advanced than our own.

In short, there are many more traveling is about (which I could write in a separate post), but traveling is definitely not just about packing your bags, booking that ticket and just heading to a place for a few days.
Sometimes you could even travel in your own country/state, and yet feel like a tourist.

Traveling is all about exploring and it just opens up one's mind.

As we head to enjoy ourselves, we build and harbor expectations of the ideal images which await at the other end.

With happiness and fun in mind, it is inevitable that we are only looking forward to good experiences and never in our mind would we even think of anything on the contrary.

However, just like life, it is always unpredictable and just because we are unprepared, it doesn't mean that everything would be smooth sailing.

After all, you need to remember, you are traveling into a different and unfamiliar territory.

There is bound to be the unexpected, and just because it's different than our usual standards, we often conclude that it is the bad.

Perhaps it is our own judgment, or our personal perception of ideals which led us to it, but expectations could more often than not, lead to disappointments.
(Although taking it positively, it could be seen as just another experience).

Anyway, as we plan our trips and look forward to our next destination, there are many ways to avoid that perception and to make the most of our traveling experiences; even if it is a destination not of your preference (i.e: business trip purpose) or even if something unfortunate happened which left you feeling unmotivated towards the rest of the trip.

Perhaps you heard of bad rumors of the country's reputation, or your loved ones' personal experiences which could have led to you pre-forming your very own judgment of the destination.

1. Reset your Mind to Zero


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First of all, wherever it is you're going (yes, I mean WHEREVER), leave that baggage of rumors, stories, warnings or whatever you've heard of beforehand (especially when you're really not keen to travel to that destination for all that reasons).

Treat it like it's one of your desired destination; one of your favorite places.
(It's not going to be easy, but it'll be easier than going with anxiety and contempt).

Think of it as a new adventure, or a place which is full of the unknown.
A place where you're going to create new memories, and explore to find our for yourself.

You'll end up being more excited than worried when you think of creating your own adventures rather than listening to those of others.



2. READ (Find Information)

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Yes, do your research and read about the place you're heading to.
Understand the history, the background, the culture and the stories of the people and the place itself.
Read about the local stories and find out everything you could about the place and the people in general.
(It is way much easier these days when information is just readily available everywhere on this little space known as the Internet).

If you're not much of a reader, then get hold of videos, photos, or even audio recordings of narratives and documentaries on the place you're headed to.
See for yourself the environment.

By understanding the history and even the culture, you will start to see the reason for the way they live and even their behaviors; which at a glance may seem odd because they differ from our usual standards.

Just remember, no two places or people are exactly the same.

Everything that happens, there is always a reason behind it.


3. Be OPEN

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While there are times when we are just annoyed by the way we are treated or the way the people shove us around, we are definitely bound to just open our mouths to complain, curse and just lament about their manners (or lack of).

However, whether it is purely due to their cultural background or even their individual choices (that's an entirely different matter altogether - morally speaking), bear in mind that we are the ones who are new to their environment.
We are on their grounds; that is their home.

We just need to remind ourselves that they are just, different.
Don't benchmark with our own standards, or even with another country.

Just take it as part of our observations of their culture and their lifestyles.

These may only be the tiny part of the nation; perhaps we have yet to see the good which could lurk in the bigger picture?

After all, there is always the good and the bad.
It's the same even in our own backyard.

We can't say we have all the good alone, in our country, can we?
Then that would be Heaven..



4. See the GOOD

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There is always something good; the silver lining beneath even the darkest and the heaviest clouds.

Even if everything is bad and you are just cursing all the way and cannot wait to board the next flight home, think of something good.
There must be at least one good thing that happened, or even one tiny thing which made you smile while on your trip.
That one little thing that curved your lips upward for just one moment; when it is not busy muttering vast vocabularies of unpleasant greetings.

Perhaps it was the flight attendant who gave you a free upgrade, or the receptionist at the hotel lobby who smiled at you.
Or it could be the young lady you stopped on the street who was just so friendly and graceful to guide you all the way, or even that young man you talked to in a convenience store who drew you a map to your intended destination by hand on that receipt?

Perhaps you found a nice little souvenir; or something you've been looking for for a long time only to find it in one of the dingy shops down the alley which you didn't want to go in the first place?

If everything else is just so terrible and there is nothing that made you smile, then look for that good even in the bad.
Yes, I know it is hard, because I've been through it myself (I'm just human too), but try to turn the bad into the good.
It makes a difference.

You may have fallen down on the street and there's nothing good you can think of?
Well, at least you know that your shoes were not meant for long hours of walking or that you should have ensured proper footing when walking on those downward slopes.

You have been swindled by the dishonest vendor and ended up paying more than what you should.
At least you now know how expensive and how careful you should be when dealing with street stall vendors, and you may even find the way to share your experiences online.
Who knows, you could end up knowing where and who are the local authorities to complain to. You are even doing your part to help others.

You lost your belongings.
You now know you should have used a better bag to secure your belongings and think of more ways to safeguard your belongings. You even find a place for great bargains and ended up getting new stuffs.
(That's a way to look at it, after all, who doesn't cry over spilled milk anyway?)

The tour guide was unfriendly and left you gasping for your breath.
He must be rushing back to meet his family.
That explains the 20-minutes stop at every location and running or boarding the bus.
Well at least you had a good workout and could get back early, beating the traffic?

When you keep figuring out the different ways to decipher the good, you will end up being far too busy creating that explanation that you will forget being miserable or annoyed.

That's the point.


5. Not Everywhere is Like HOME

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The Home is where the Heart is, that is for sure.
When you travel, you bring your heart along.

However, leave that PRIDE behind once in a while.

Don't benchmark and think that your country is always above others.
It is good to be patriotic, but do not compare and discriminate another country.

If your country is always the best and nothing beats home, then why are you traveling in the first place?

Why are you still making that trip to see another country, when you think that they are all beneath your own country?
(To see how low they are?)

Be proud of your country, but remember that others too, are proud of where they came from and the place they live in.

Instead of throwing your pride around, how about Sharing that Pride?

Exchange stories with others you meet in their country, and learn about their culture and their pride and promote your own country too.

You're showing off your pride in the right way, and even bring positive light to that whole image of your country.

Be the Ambassador, in the right way and Understand the Pride of others in their homeland too.


6. ENJOY the RIDE


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Just like the roller coaster, you were apprehensive on whether you should board it in the first place, but you still got on.

Why?

For the experience, the thrill, the exhilaration or even just to appease the peer pressure building around you.
(All your friends are getting on anyway, and it would be wimpy not to)

You could close your eyes throughout the ride, scream and curse under your breath, but didn't you feel that strong gust of wind and that beating of the heart when you were gripping the handles hard?

Didn't you laugh and regret at the same time?

But when you get down, didn't you just think, "I can't believe I went through it, but I did. At least I've been on the roller coaster!"

That's how it's like, with travel.

Since you've got on the plane and traveled there, why let the little things bother you?

Why not just make the most of your trip (and your money) and just have fun?

Take the ups and downs just like a roller coaster ride.

Besides, what's the ups when you don't have the downs?
You won't even know what's an up if you've never seen the down.
It makes you appreciate the Up even more, don't you think?

So, Cheer UP and Enjoy the Ride.


In SUMMARY, Traveling is all about Experiences and not just all about having fun.
It is about Discovery, Exploring and most of all, creating Memories.

When it comes to making memories, don't you want to remember yourself with all Smiles and Laughter rather than all frowns and tears?

Make your Album perfect, and start filling it will all the GOOD memories.

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Remember the ones which made you smile, but those that didn't, remember the lessons you learnt from.

The rude guy didn't make your day bad, you chose to let him become part of the memories.

At the end of the day, you could choose to remember that you will never be rude like him and then remember the beautiful street you were on (where the rude guy was).


Be PROUD because of WHO you are, and where you came from but DON't JUDGE others because of that Pride.


Travel humbly; without Pride and prejudice and you will find that the World out there is indeed a very beautiful place, filled with colors of variety and everything in diversity.


After all, that's what makes up the World, isn't it?

And The Differences are drawing you to want to travel, ain't it?



So, Be OPEN and truly, SEE and Appreciate the Differences to really enjoy and have the best travel experience ever!






*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.




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