Change Your Perspective Through Travel

Change Your Perspective Through Travel

Without leaving your home, city or country, it’s very easy to get settled in your own way of living. Your needs are roughly the same as those around you, and you grow accustomed to a certain kind of lifestyle. It’s just how the world works and we all do it, but a lot can be said for breaking out of the mould you were born into, even if it’s just to peek into someone else’s. Travelling is a way of doing this, and can open doors in your life and way of thinking that may have, in any other situation, been closed.

Your cultural comfort zone

In your own country or hometown, you can leave your house and know what to expect, know the kind of people you’ll see, the events going on and not have a single thing surprise you. We always like these little bubbles of comfort because they allow us to feel safe and not have to think. Scenes of other cultures shown in adverts, on TV or in movies can be far detached from our own way of living, and without having seen such cultures with your own eyes it’s very easy to forget that those places are a reality and don’t disappear once someone shouts ‘Cut!’

That might sound perfectly fine to some of you, but speaking from first-hand experience, there’s nothing quite like experiencing other cultures in real life, and traveling through the world to see how other people live can lead to some of the most valuable lessons you’ll ever learn. Even a little travel can help change your perspective on not only the world and its people, but on your own life as well.

Taking the leap

I really wish I could go back to July 2010 and film my reaction to my first sight of New Delhi, India. I was in a taxi from the airport, with my head stuck out the window like some slobbering dog enjoying the breeze. The humidity and heat had hit me like no climate I’d ever experienced, there were hoots and shouts everywhere, and a whole mixture of sights and smells were surrounding me so much so that I could hardly take it all in. Before that day, I had never known a world like that existed, and my passion to see it all lit up in those few seconds.

I’m lucky enough to have a home that I can always come back to when I need to, but I’ve noticed that after experiencing all the different cultures on my travels over the last 3 years that I need less and less from that home. If there’s anything that my trip to India taught me, it was that all I really longed for is the kind of simple happiness I saw in so many people there.

Unfortunately in countries like this you see a lot of poverty, in a far more radical way than you ever thought existed, but in so many people I would have initially pitied, I found myself seeing an unassuming, gentle kind of contentment that I don’t think I’ve seen in anyone back home in my bubble of comfort. It was then that I realised these people are far richer than any of us realise.

A shift in perspective

Witnessing and emerging yourself in other cultures can give you a greater understand of our world as a whole, and all those things you learn along the way during your travels will stay with you for a lifetime. I can’t even begin to piece together how much I learnt in just my shorts time in India, let alone my other trips, but if I look back to who I was then and compare it to now, I don’t see the same person.

I used to be incredibly impatient, wanting to get whatever I needed done as soon as possible and getting majorly stressed if I couldn’t. While I can still see shades of that sometimes, I know that sweating the small stuff doesn’t get you anywhere in life and these things always have a way of eventually sorting themselves out.

I’ve had to let go of the things I can’t control too many times on my travels, and that’s stuck with me ever since.

Traveling can change your perspective on life even in just one moment, meeting one person, or overcoming one sticky situation. I’ve always thought that people never really know how much they’re physically and mentally capable of achieving until they take on the challenge of experiencing a whole new way of living, and if you combine that with traveling you could find yourself in some incredibly interesting places. Why not try leaving your bubble today?


Emma Higgins has been writing and traveling on and off since 2009. Her blog, Gotta Keep Movin’ is full of stories and advice from her trips, which include Europe, India, Morocco, South America, the USA and Canada. Her main focuses are budget travel and volunteering, and she has been involved in sustainable farming in Argentina, animal shelters in Peru, and even tried her hand at making goats cheese in British Columbia. Follow her travels on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Categories: Education

Leave a Reply