How Traveling To Another Country Changed Me
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How Traveling To Another Country Changed Me

A vacation can be more than a get-away if you let it

How Traveling To Another Country Changed Me
Emily Beach

For those of us who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel and see the world, mostly everyone will say that their journey and final destination changed them in some way. Personally, I thought this to be a bunch of nonsense - until I experienced it. This past winter, I got my visa and passport, converted my dollars into reals, and headed to South America, specifically Sao Paulo, Brazil - and it really did change me.

My best friend and I boarded the plane in Houston, Texas, for nine hours - with no itinerary, so few plans, and high hopes. For someone as Type A and organized as I am, having almost no idea where we were staying and what we were doing for two weeks made me crazy - all I knew was our mutual friend would be waiting at the airport for us. But, this journey was freeing. Letting go of control provided me with the greatest experience to date.

Going to a new place provides you with an opportunity to see things you didn't think you would get the chance to. Among seeing the Lapa stairs and bar strip in Rio de Janiero, the towering churches in Sao Paulo, and one of the world's largest shoppings (they don't call them malls!) in Campinas, my world was changed. I saw how people lived so differently than I was used to in my South Jersey bubble - the richest only seeming mediocre by my normal standards. But, living that way of life made me appreciate and criticize my life more than one could imagine. Though I wouldn't change a thing about my little New Jersey bubble, the Brazilian way was one we should all appreciate - living and loving passionately, shown through their artwork and architecture.

And, I must admit, their geofilters were pretty cool.

But, the most important part of travel is the people you meet along the way. These are the ones that sneak up on you and teach you lessons you didn't realize you needed. When escaping your own world and entering another, one has a tendency to evaluate their past and present, what is making them happy and what is bringing them down, and what is important. A fresh outside person may be the key to figuring all this out. I would never have thought a Campinas native would change my entire way of thinking after one conversation, but I am thankful for him every day.

So, one piece of advice: if you can, travel. Take in all the experiences offered to and thrown at you. Let yourself love and be loved.

It may just change your life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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