While typing up answers for an upcoming interview for Live Unchained, I came across this question:
Do you think that what a traveler stands to gain or contribute varies in different settings?
Got me really thinking way past the question.
The act of travel in itself is so subjective. It touches and transforms us all differently. Experiences range from life-changing epiphanies to downright atrocious situations. One of the reasons I appreciate Brave New Traveler (part of the Matador Network) is that it aims to explore the various dimensions of travel objectively.
As travelers, we usually seek to gain more insight, more tolerance, more understanding of various cultures we immerse ourselves in. In a sense, expanding our views beyond those habitual boxes and situational bubbles we live within each day.
We continually want to gain. In terms of contributing, volunteerism immediately jumps to mind – sharing time, giving tangible items, serving others. We rarely often see ourselves as cultural ambassadors too.
When I travel, I strive to be a sponge readily expanding. Soaking up knowledge and cultural understanding, immersing in and respecting various points of views, sharing my story, serving others and squeezing out generously where needed…while inherently remaining a sponge without somehow transforming into a mop.
In essence, I let travel enrich, not define. For definition, I look to a higher power.
Photo shot in Lisbon, Portugal.