Clearly, it must be the easiest way to live your regular life and get accustomed to the familiar routines you have made for yourself. You experience a sense of emotional security after building your safe place for so long. It is comfortable to live that way because you are so used to it. It’s nice, isn’t it? However, eventually, this so-called comfort zone only offers you no room for changes and growth – keeping yourself from learning and experiencing new things.
Is it worth it? You probably also want to ask yourself: are you happy or just comfortable?
Let that sink for a while.
If you already know the answer, and you need a real kick for starters, traveling is one of the best options you can pick. As quoted by Paulo Coelho, “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal.” Traveling is by all means to embrace differences and to experience other culture that will change your perspective on life. Cultural travel allows you to cope with a foreign environment, meet new people and experience culture shock firsthand. Traveling somewhere that feels similar to your home can be easy and predictable – you know what to do since you are familiar with everything. However, experiencing other culture could be life changing, pushing past your comfort zone. Are you up for that?
So, when you decide to have cultural travel, being open-minded and respectful is a must. Why? Because the way things work in your home country is literally nothing like any other country. Not only that, but you will also encounter one too many different culture and customs in a foreign place – something that you will really appreciate later. Traveling to the other sides of the world grants you the opportunity to raise your cultural awareness. For example, Koreans uphold good manners and are typically very respectful. It is their tradition when younger people are offered drinks, especially beers; they turn their heads to respect the elders. They also make sure that the elders are served first, and everyone is expected not to leave the table until the eldest announces that it is over. Manners are everything to Koreans. This reminds you to be a more respectful person when you are going back home.
The opportunity to grow and learn from going cultural travel is that you will also find different ways of interactions with people, particularly the locals. It is best to get to know the place you are visiting by wandering around and talking with the locals. You can visit the local shops, try the local cuisines, or discover their local music stores. This way, you have the chance to engage with the people around you – allowing you to appreciate and understand different traditions, pace, and systems in ways you wouldn’t.
Moreover, you will practice the language even better with the natives in its cultural context. Being forced to learn the new language in its home will improve your skills rather quickly than learning it in a formal study. That is why you want to surround yourself with cultural interactions as if you are” home” while you are there. When you travel abroad, not only you will be fascinated by its aesthetics, but also the appeal of the language as a part of your journey.
There are way too many amazing places in this whole wide world if you are interested in trying cultural travel and experience another culture. Gathered here is a few list of places for you to interact with native and authentic cultural values. Find them below:
Sa Pa, Vietnam
Sa Pa, located in northwest Vietnam, is a quiet mountain town with vast paddy fields growing rice. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of trekking trails around the villages, this place is home to ethnic natives and unconventional cultural practices. The Black Hmong of Sa Pa is ethnic minority natives to Vietnam living in Sa Pa. The Black Hmong people are usually recognizable by the red marks on their foreheads. Those marks are caused by the traditional remedy to help with the ache – the base of a cow or ox horn heated under high temperature. The Black Hmong people speak in their indigenous languages and dialects instead of Vietnamese in their everyday life.
Tana Toraja, Indonesia
Located in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tana Toraja is popular among travelers and anthropologists to study the native people and culture of Toraja. Known for their funeral ceremonies tradition that can last for several days, the sacred event has attracted many to visit the place as the highlight of their cultural travel experiences. The funeral ceremonies are held during the entire year; however, the biggest ones usually take place in the months of July and August.
Many of you probably agree that traveling is the best way to overcome your comfort zone. You are exposed to new cultures and places as a part of the learning process. Cultural travel may be an uncomfortable choice out there for you; however, experiencing another culture can greatly change your perspective on the world – hopefully in a positive way.
Do you think traveling also helps you in the process of your self-actualization? Share with us because we’d love to hear your stories!