5 Irresistible Reasons to Visit a Foreign Country
Foreign countries and cultures have never been more accessible. We often forget that only within the last 100 years has it become possible to reach any destination on our planet in a matter of hours, rather than weeks or months.
This extraordinary change of circumstance unlocks a remarkable opportunity for learning and exploration, should we choose to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, it seems that far too many people are content to never leave their home country, or even home state.
As globalization continues, more and more people will become open to the idea of traveling abroad. But just because most people don’t travel abroad doesn’t mean you can’t beat the masses and reap the benefits. Here’s why you should do just that.
Here’s the thing. We live in the age of information and communication. Never before have we been bombarded with so many messages or has so much human interaction taken place.
This means that in the modern age, understanding how to listen attentively, consider thoughtfully, and respond conscientiously and effectively is a highly sought-after skill. If you can write relevant and appealing content, that’s all the better.
Traveling to a foreign country forces you into a situation where you’d better learn to express yourself, or you’ll have a hard time getting around. You’ll surprise yourself by how you rise to the occasion and become a more fluid articulator of thought.
The truth is that from an inside looking out, it’s very difficult to understand how aspects of your way of thinking and seeing the world are shaped by cultural traditions and norms.
When you escape your home culture for a spell, it gives you the distance and time you need to better recognize how culture influences your own day-to-day habits and attitudes, as well as those of the people around you.
This knowledge can allow you to rid yourself of certain cultural prejudices or attitudes that may not be beneficial.
In a foreign country, you’re going to have to conquer a few obstacles. You’ll likely have to overcome a language barrier, figure out the public transportation, order food and drink in a restaurant, etc.
These seemingly simple tasks become more complicated and challenging in a foreign country, and proving to yourself that you can do them gives you a distinct boost of self-assuredness.
It’s all fine and good to talk about the beauty of the Rocky Mountains or the Grand Canyon or the California redwoods. Heck, you may even think American sports, city-life, and popular culture are beautiful.
However, regardless of how much beauty we have in the United States, we can see it all and still only glimpse a small fraction of what there is to see in the world. When you travel to new countries, you realize this, and you want to see more, more, more.
Just as you come to understand more about your own culture, you also come to understand and appreciate how people in another country think and live. You realize that no one culture is correct or best, but that the diversity of cultures is an amazing and enriching phenomenon.
When you begin to grasp the enormous variety of human cultures on the planet, you see what a colorful and fascinating race of beings we really are. You want to explore more cultures, and you realize that other cultures can teach you valuable lessons about how to live.
With those things in mind, go! Seriously, find a way to travel abroad within the next couple years, if it is at all feasible. There are more ways to do this inexpensively than you could imagine.
A quick Google search for teaching abroad or volunteering abroad will lead you to a whole host of resources you’ll hardly believe. I’ve never talked to anyone whose been abroad and said they had a negative experience or wished they hadn’t gone.
Literally everyone who travels abroad has a life-shaping, eye-opening, unforgettable experience. So what’s stopping you? What’s your excuse? My guess is that it’s probably not a very good one. Consider this a kick in the pants. Go have the adventure of a lifetime, and thank me later.
About Gregory Arnold Gregory is a writer, difference maker, and personal growth enthusiast. He believes that by improving ourselves, we find true happiness and improve the world in the process.