A beauty of travel

Posted on July 20, 2009 by Matt

Of the many beauties that come about from reaching off into unknown countries and cultures the greatest is the conclusions one can make about the familiar. It is difficult to find familiar in other countries, but it is not the familiar in the countries that one should look to or attempt to learn from. The familiar is what no longer can be appreciated and what cannot be known in the context of “home.” I have long considered, that our environments define us and it is not until one is taken out of his environment that he is obliged to define himself. For example, if you were to come into to my room, see my nerdy yet stylish ensemble of colors and Star Wars gear, my theology books and Seahawks blanket; even in my absence from the room, this environment is sufficient to give one an idea as to the type of person I am.
The same is true with the one’s friends, frequented locations and such. But much more, there is a sense of idle living that surface from being home and the comforts that follow from it. I tell you this, spend one day in a foreign city where you have nowhere to sleep and are forced to wonder until anywhere seems like a good place to sleep. And even then you are kept awake by random noises and breezes. Do this, and “home” and thankfulness will take on new meanings. As scary as moments like these are, it is in these moments when you are alone and afraid that you really become free to evaluate yourself.
Evaluating yourself while comfortable in the familiar of home, is like trying to do a stress test on an important airplane part by merely handing it to a three year old child. A stress test is insurance that when when actually used the piece will not falter. How is a human ever meant to learn this? He must remove himself from the comfortable.
I am fairly thoughtful and self-aware person, but the amount of things that God can teach me on a 3 week trek around Europe is astounding. I challenge you. Travel, get out of your comfort zone and open your mind to learn and experience new things. When you do this, you should be open to self-evaluation and criticism.

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