Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Complexities of Travel

I am very interested in seeing Eat, Pray, Love when it opens in theaters this week. I am not a fan of any of the actors in the film, but I do enjoy the story: self-discovery, second chances, and fulfillment realized during a journey. I always find that I acknowledge aspects of personality when I have quality travel time. Many people think of travel as an escape, which it is, but I also feel that travel takes us out of our comfort zone and presents challenges that could never be faced at home.

Travel also makes travelers realize how much the same and different we all are. I am always surprised at the familiarity I feel when talking to people from other cultures about their lives, even though we may literally live on other sides of the world. As a native of New Jersey, I am often asked about what I think about a certain popular reality show with “Jersey” in the title, and I laugh because I have nothing in common with any of the people portrayed on the show. Yet having conversations about customs and societal expectations with my Indonesian friends always felt the opposite of foreign to me. I am always struck at how unpredictable my travel experiences have been, and I appreciate the feeling. I just think that travel is essential for personal growth; I know better than anyone that it is very expensive to keep up the habit, but I think putting aside a little money whenever possible for a trip to a new place at least once a year is totally worth it.

What are your thoughts on travel?

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