Why You Should Experience Other Cultures

Why You Should Experience Other Cultures

37782
views

It's not easy to step out of your comfort zone; in fact it's pretty scary. At the same time, you'll experience and learn amazing things; both about yourself and the world around you. Experiencing a new culture is like stepping into a whole new world; you're exposed to different languages, smells, colors, sights, sounds, and people. Taking the time to travel to a different part of the world and a new culture will completely change your life. It'll be an exciting and thrilling experience that you will never forget!

Here are some reasons why you should experience other cultures at least once in your life:

Broaden your perspective of the world

It's a big world out there; people live and behave differently. When you live in another country, you can open your eyes to the beliefs and values other people and its influence on their everyday life. You will discover new social norms and lifestyles. It will not only change your perspective, but it will re-shape your personality as well. Some countries have no electricity, plumbing, or internet. Kids don't have Xbox or Wii to pass the time; they use their imagination to create toys from whatever they can find. They live their everyday life with perseverance. It's a humbling and character-building experience, and one that teaches you to appreciate what you have and also to respect those who live without them every day.

"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."
Henry Miller

Learn a new language

Who doesn't want to have a second language under their belt? Learning a second language will give you the ability to step inside the mind of the culture and see things from a whole new perspective. It'll also give you an advantage and a competitive edge in the work field. The world is becoming more and more interconnected so there is an urgent need for global citizens competent in a second language. So learning or knowing a second language is becoming less of an option and more of a necessity. Experiencing a new culture will force you to quickly learn and adopt the new language. There is only so much that you can learn by sitting in a classroom or from texts. It's a whole different experience when you immerse yourself in the culture and hear the language spoken in its cultural context; you will pick it up much faster since you will be surrounded by it constantly. Overall, learning a new language will open many doors and you'll have a much deeper understanding of the world.

"A different language is a different vision of life." Federico Fellini

Learn new skills

Traveling to a different country and experiencing a new culture teaches you a variety of new skills. You learn to become more social, flexible, open minded, and independent. Exposure to multicultures or diversity will lead to better judgment; you will meet people of different religions, color, race, educational background and many other things. You will also learn fun skills such as cooking among others. It will greatly enhance your development as a person.

Expand your circle of friends all around the world

The most fun part (besides the amazing food and shopping!) of traveling is meeting new people and making new friends. You meet people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. You will learn valuable lessons and stories from each person you meet that will make the trip even more memorable. You'll gain insights into their way of life and their beliefs. Not only will you gain tons of knowledge, but your personality will also develop. You'll come to see and appreciate your own culture from a different perspective. You can even keep in touch with them when you come back home and continue to experience and share from across the world. It's truly a liberating and life changing experience.

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."
St. Augustine

Enhance creativity

In case you needed a scientific reason for traveling, according to a study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, individuals who experience or adopt new cultures have enhanced creativity than individuals who hadn't experienced a new culture. Recalling a multicultural experience (a) facilitates idea flexibility (e.g., the ability to solve problems in multiple ways), (b) increases awareness of underlying connections and associations, and (c) helps to overcome functional fixedness. Either way, it's a win-win situation!

Trying new food, learning new traditions or cultures, and meeting new people with different perspectives and stories will enrich your life greatly and add amazing experiences that you will remember even in old age, whether it's walking through the rice fields of China, taking a trip to the Amazon Basin in Brazil, or walking through the vibrant streets of Tokyo in Japan. So if you haven't done so yet, step out of your comfort zone and travel to experience a whole new world!

"You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you with yourself."
Ella Maillart
Cover Image Credit: https://1huntech.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/dollarphotoclub_65482539.jpg

Popular Right Now

​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
1473049
views

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Burning of Notre Dame

As the world looked on in horror, the 800-year-old cathedral threatened to burn to the ground, but I felt a different sort of fire igniting.

18
views

It's unlikely that this is the first article you've ready about the burning of France's Notre Dame Cathedral. It's a national landmark that has stood, in some form, for 800 years and we, as a world, were forced to watch it burn for nearly a day and a night. It was devastating to a multitude of people, not only the French nation.

I was watching a live stream of the cathedral's burning, stuck between horror and disbelief, when another feeling entirely began to creep over me. I read the headlines sprawled across the top of the screen, "Notre Dame Burns", "Gothic Structure Nearly Lost", "Will They Rebuild?" and started to wonder where we place our value in everyday life. I understand and appreciate the fact that Notre Dame is a treasure from a different time entirely, it holds more history than the whole of younger lands like the United States and Canada combined, but still, doubt circled in my heart and mind.

After the spouting flames had died to their last embers, a torrent of posts began to flood multimedia platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and everything in-between. People began to communicate their relief that the inner sanctuary was unharmed, that the fire hadn't damaged the twin towers, etc. They touted that God had spared dear Notre Dame in her darkest hour. I disagreed, but not for the reasons you might think.

We, as a culture, as a world, place too high a value on historical religious items whilst we shun the Power to which we owe their creation. The historical value of a place like Notre Dame is unmistakable, I pray that the French government will make every effort in her restoration so future generations can understand her place in history. But...I pray, more so, that the tragedy of the burning of Notre Dame serves a higher purpose; to bring those who have fallen away from Christ back from the brink.

We need to understand the value of our religious history, but not allow it to control us. Some might say the burning of Notre Dame was the conflagration of a dying era. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. I think God used the pillars of fire that emerged from the cathedral's center as a beacon to bring our eyes back to him. Disasters unite nation to nation, people to people, and He wants us to unite in our adoration of Him.

I'm amused when people describe Christ as a softy, a push-over, a weakling. Because I know better. The flames that wreathed Notre Dame were a testament to His strength. Through them, He was shouting, "Come back to me! I am here! Forsake your sinful ways and find redemption in Me!"

I think John the Baptist had the right of it in Luke 3:16, "...I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

Christ is the fire.

Related Content

Facebook Comments