Travel is broadening

How many times have you heard someone say that expression? Maybe you have said it yourself sometimes. I consider myself lucky I guess because I had the opportunity coffee-and-journalto travel outside my home country since I was just three years old. That way you easily get to love it and it becomes your lifestyle.

I remember when I first said this expression. I was still a kid, 12 years old. Spending three weeks in France for the first time, where I was “thrown” among other French kids to learn the language, I came back with a completely different experience than ever before. Well, I wasn’t completely alone, there were a few other kids from Croatia too, but we had different activities through the day and got split from each other, same as in our rooms. We did all kinds of sports, acting, dancing, social games, brain teasers and visited nearby places. What a way to learn the language! Better that sitting in any classroom, anywhere is all I can say…

But it wasn’t only a great way to learn the language. When they asked me how was in France, I said: “You know what, I have changed a lot, I’m a completely different person.” :) Three weeks is a long time for a vacation but you don’t need three weeks to see the difference. Travel is so broadening because you take the time to live in a place that is in so many ways different than the one you live in, because you immerse yourself in another culture,  you learn about the place, the art, the people , the food. You interact with strangers, exchange opinions. Consciously or unconsciously, you learn and you change. While you’re away travelling, you are more open to the experiences and to absorbing all the pictures and all that is happening around you. So even a day or two will be enough to make a change, to deepen your insights.

Travel isn’t only broadening because you learn about what you see. One of the main reasons is also relaxation. This time I’m not talking about physical relaxation, I’m talking about relaxing your mind. Have you noticed the difference, how you forget about everything you had on your mind by then? And how some of your points of view and opinions have changed, how now you feel like you know a lot more, how you can speak about some things from your own experience and realize the difference before now and then? Do you remember how energetic you are when you return, how everything seems easier? Try writing when you return from your trip. It can be about anything really…you’ll be surprised by what you see.

Do whatever you like while travelling, explore, have fun with your friends or family. Whatever your definition of fun is, it doesn’t matter, the experience will be broadening. Some are life changing, some are a little changing, but they’re all yours.

Stella – European Travelling Advisor

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4 Responses to “Travel is broadening”

  1. 1 Hilary
    January 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Stella .. you’re right .. I was frigthened at 15 or 16 & decided I didn’t want to go to my French pen friend’s family .. but to this day .. any number of years later!! we are still friends. I reget not being ‘made’ to go by my family .. but things weren’t easy then & I never made it. I’d love to speak other languages .. other than just a tiny smattering of a few ..

    & travel is great – it opens up your eyes .. we learn so much being with different people, different cultures etc etc .. = travel & grow I say.

    All the best – San Diego was great .. we missed you! Hilary

  2. 2 Stella Stopfer
    January 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Yes, that is quite a frightening experience. But as most of the toughest things in life turn out to be the most fun or the most rewarding in some way. When I came to France that time, as I remember it today, I just blinked my big eyes and thought “what am I doing here?!”, but in just two days I was speaking like I never thought I would. By the end of my trip I was mistaken for a French girl, lol! You have no choice at that point.
    Thank you Hilary for sharing your experience with me.

    I wish I could have been there with you…all the best to you too.

    Stella – European Travelling Advisor

  3. January 21, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Hi Stella

    When I travel I like to go when the local go, I like to eat where they eat and shop where they shop. I like to feel what their lives are like.

    That is way I like your site, cause you tell the inside story :-)

    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

  4. 4 Stella Stopfer
    January 21, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Hi Giovanna,

    thank you that compliment. :) I don’t consider myself a travel writer, just a traveller who writes. I try to bring you the information that I would like to find when I’m searching the web about something. For me that means exactly this, trying to translate my experience, describe my impressions, show you some great places and help you organize and your trip in a way that you know where to start and how to finish. And I don’t write for travel writers, I write for travellers from the perspective of a traveller. ;)

    Stella – European Travelling Advisor

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