by Ronnie Charrier
If there’s one thing I’ve learned recently - and you can just read the comments section of our recent blog post that had the name Trump in it to see for yourself - it’s that traveling serves as a unique way to help foster positivity in the world and break down barriers between different people and ideas. By opening our minds and hearts to allow for new ways of thinking, we can begin to break down stereotypes and foster a more global view of our species.
Traveling has changed my life; not because of where I went, but because of who I met along the way, the ideas I heard in conversations with people I would otherwise never have listened to, and the time for self-reflection I was left with once I got out of my normal environment and routines. I came away a better version of myself and learned that that process should be an on-going one for the rest of my life.
What’s sad though about traveling is the travelers who miss out on this experience, and make others wary of letting us freely move about the planet. We’ve all seen this or done it ourselves: wanting places to conform to our own ideas, not taking the time to learn local customs or language, and just treating the world as if we were owed something.
I say what’s happened has happened, and all we can do is strive to be better today, and tomorrow; better travelers, and better versions of ourselves. Therefore, I’ve put together these 18 “traveler resolutions” I plan on making this year and I encourage you to as well, so we can be the kinds of travelers that inspire people to go out and see the world, and when they do, treat it with the respect it deserves:
1. Be humble.
2. Not only respect local culture, but make an effort to be a part of it.
3. Ask more questions of the people I meet.
4. Eat the local food, especially the food that I’ve never tried or heard of.
5. Learn at least basic greetings in the local language.
6. Stop telling people how many places I’ve been to.
7. Read about the place I’m going to before I go.
8. Do something I’m afraid of.
9. Have patience.
10. Allow myself to miss people back home, and when I do, tell them.
11. Don’t tell people which places are better than others, since everyone has their own experiences.
12. Don’t judge the way people travel.
13. Send more postcards.
14. Take time to get off social media or my camera, and just enjoy the moment.
15. Travel slow.
16. Remember that traveling is a privilege
17. Follow my gut and take chances.
18. Be grateful for every day I have, the people in it, and every breathtaking moment on this journey.