The Benefits of Travel: Opening up your Mind to New Opinions

I’m currently sitting at my favorite cafe, Soul Cake, and I am not eavesdropping, but the boisterous ladies opposite me are making it difficult for me to not hear what they are saying.

Soul cake Cafe
Opening up my mind with great coffee

Their conversation and comments have made me breathe a sigh of relief that I have traveled for so long and have learned what a gift it is to not be stuck in your own opinion and so closed off to others.

They are ranting at what “stupid morons” people are who don’t immunize their children for fear of autism.

This was something Craig and I discussed and feared a little when it came time to immunize Kalyra. There is the research out there that does indicate this can be a reality, but there is also the research that is contrary to that fact.

It’s a tough decision to make and we ended up immunizing Kalrya, but I worried about it a lot. Maybe I could have decided to risk her getting chicken pox instead of autism.

I don’t think that would have made me a stupid moron, just someone who thinks in a different way, and who wants to make the best choice for my daughter and what I feel comfortable with.

I am open enough to look at alternatives, to look at different opinions and then make a decision.

I don’t believe that I know everything, nor do I believe that doctors, or medical researchers, or alternative therapists do also.

Defending our Identity Doesn’t Allow us to Evolve

It has really gotten me thinking about how some people become so staunch in their opinions of something, even to the point of abusing someone else because of it and allowing relationships to fall apart.

I am sure that if I had not traveled I probably would be clinging just as tightly to my beliefs and opinions, through absolute terror that if I was somehow proven wrong it would mean the end of my identity and my world.

I know what I believe, but I also know that this can so easily change.

I am so happy to allow myself the freedom to do that. What worked for me yesterday or five years ago, may not anymore because I evolve and change.

When I first set out on my travels I had a certain identity and way of viewing and thinking about the world that was based upon my limited life experiences. Experiences that came only from my family, my small town, my friends, and my culture.

Sure, I was exposed to other ways of being and thoughts through books and movies, but if you don’t experience these in the real world they can have limited impact.

Traveling opened my mind and eyes up to what other people believe and why

As I was on a great adventure, I was open to learn more about other cultures and viewpoints. I somehow did not see it as a threat to myself, just me exploring the world around me and being fascinated by it.

These new ways of thinking and being slowly seeped in and opened up my mind more and more.

Eventually, I became this person who was able to listen to the viewpoints of others and see it as something interesting that I could perhaps learn from, rather than take it as a personal offense to myself.

Of course, I am not perfect, and there are times when my self-righteousness rears its ugly head. But, I have my travel experiences to pull me back on track and tell me to get a grip and remember what I know.

I don’t know what I don’t know

There is always someone who can help me learn something new and open my eyes up to new possibilities. I welcome that.

I may not believe it and want to accept it to be true for me, but I respect their thoughts. I don’t want to let it anger me that much that I call them insulting names.

I never know, it could just teach me something new that empowers my life for the better.

Why would I not want to be at least open to seeing this for myself?

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