We are a part of the culture, in which we were born and raised. We speak the language of that country. We think through the particular cultural pattern, which is the ‘only’ and ‘correct’ one. We never realise it till we go away from our motherland.
When I moved to Finland from Russia, I was overwhelmed with many aspects, both positive and negative issues, things which were so similar and so different, aspects which I hated and those which I fell in love with. I judged everything through the +/- scale, based on my Russian background. I started questioning my previous life, my habits, my manners, my thoughts… Gradually, Finland became my judgement scale, while I was growing apart from my Russian routs.
In 2015, I started travelling around Europe, and that was a turning point in my reality and my entire life. There were no more judging model, there were no more good or bad things, black or white perspectives, wrong or right actions. The world turned out to be much more diverse that I could only imagine.
This is what you could learn while travelling:
1. New places look better and more suitable for you than those where you have been many times/or lived. You are charmed with all the amazing stuff the country shoots you with upon arrival. Additionally, during travelling you leave your problems ‘at home’, which only strengethening this effect of perfection.
2. Not everything is so sparkly and bubbly there either. Gradually you start looking around more attentively. The shadow of perfection vanishes, and you see that there are other problems. It is so noticeable that people are underpaid, they have long working hours, and they completely don’t have any guarantees…
3. We are different. You go to another contry and see that the way we talk, look, and think is scarily different. It is clear as a day; however, you never think of it unless you step outside the ‘house’.
4. Despite the fact that our mentality is strictly framed with the place of origin, our historical and cultural background, you still can find the person who think exactly like you. You can find your twin brother or sister miles away and be more connected to him or her than to anyone else in your home country.
5. The more you travel, the more open you become. You learn not to judge people if they think or act other than you. You respect the opinion if it differs from yours. And interestingly, you become less self-critical, allowing yourself to be YOU.
6. You are never the same person after you come back from the trip. You look at your life with a new, fresh, broader perspective. You don’t take seriously the worries you had before. Everything seems possible and doable. You are inspired to move ahead with the things you always wanted to start, but never dared.
7. You learn yourself. Meeting people from various cultures, you figure out what you like and what you don’t, what is acceptable for you and what is not. And you definitely take something with you from every place you visited.
There is also a down side of it. Gradually you grow apart from most of your friends, whom you know since childhood or university. They don’t understand why you can’t calm down and settle the ‘regular’ life…