I am SO excited to be writing this Finish This post today. The prompts for this week focus on traveling, which if you didn’t know, is my favorite thing to do (when I can afford it). Many people have reservations about traveling, particularly to different countries, for various reasons. Before I was consumed by wanderlust, I was terrified to leave my small town in Maryland. Why? Well, I was the kid that would get homesick very easily. I didn’t enjoy going out of my comfort zone. Obviously, college helped with that a lot and I slowly began to travel. I made my way up and down the East Coast only to realize I was missing so much because I never wanted to leave Maryland. I am itching to get out of here, now. Funny how things change, right?
If I could fly to any destination tomorrow, I’d go to…
… Thailand, Japan, Italy, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, can I just go everywhere? But in all honesty, if I had to choose just one destination, I would choose somewhere in Europe. Traveling from country to country in Europe is a lot cheaper than it would be to travel from Australia to Japan or Thailand to Greece. I would hope that I could knock out a few countries just by traveling to Europe. Ideally, I would start in France and end in Italy. Those are two countries I know enough of the language to get around pretty well (mostly French). Je voudrais voyager dans le monde!
My best advice for traveling is…
…to research before you go. Let me be more specific:
Once I finally took the plunge and visited another country, I was hooked on traveling. I never felt more alive than when I was boarding the plane to go overseas for the first time. I was so excited I didn’t sleep for well over 24 hours. The trip was so fulfilling and I wouldn’t change a single experience I gained from it. I learned so much about myself, one thing being that I knew very little about different cultures and lifestyles.
I think a little culture shock is good for us all. At some point in our lives, we (especially Americans) have to admit that we are ethnocentric. A great way to beat ethnocentrism is to immerse yourself in a new area, culture, and lifestyle. I do not mean go to another country (say… Italy for example) and make little effort to become one with their customs. I mean seriously taking the time to research the surroundings, the people, the history, the language, and best of all… the food, before visiting.
By definition, ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one’s own culture (Thank you, Google). How can we judge another culture if we have never allowed ourselves to learn about it? We know our own cultures so well, obviously. Like with every other aspect in life, we should never judge a person, place, or thing without getting to know it first. This is one of life’s basic principles that we learned in grade school. Why do we not practice that everywhere?
I (like / dislike) to travel because…
I will start with why I like to travel. In short, I like to travel because I love to learn. To augment what I stated above, it is almost impossible not to learn something when you travel to a new area. When I traveled to England, I assumed I knew quite a bit considering it was an English speaking country, I have studied a fair amount of history about Great Britain, and well… I just thought I knew enough I guess! I have never been more wrong in my entire life. I learned more in the first ten minutes of traveling from Heathrow to the hotel in Islington than I have in a long time. (Fun fact: There is an absurd amount of sheep in England. Seriously… a lot. I really like sheep and I felt overwhelmed at the thought of being surrounded by so many damn sheep.) My point? Learn before you travel. Go travel to learn even more. And share what you learned after you travel.
The only thing I dislike about traveling is the cost to actually go through with it. Just talking about it makes me really melancholy. I so badly want to travel more, especially now before I am married with kids one day. Unfortunately, the cost to travel is steep. A little too steep for a gal fresh out of college and loans kicking in a few short weeks from now.
So there you have it… Finish This Week 46. This was, by far, my favorite Finish This prompt, yet! I now have a fever and the only prescription is (no not cowbell…) to travel!
Check out the prompts for next week and be sure to click the photo below to join other bloggers as we “Finish This” each week. Happy Wednesday!
Prompts for WEEK 47– November 26
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition
My most memorable Thanksgiving was
My favorite Thanksgiving food or dish
I’m so thankful