Jeff and I both spent the past week abroad, thanks to the sport of lacrosse, and when we spoke on the phone yesterday to get caught up, it was obvious that both of us had been impacted by our travel experiences in a notable manner.
I’ll let Jeff speak for himself through the upcoming content he has planned, but his trip to Jamaica to Grow The Game was a brand new experience for him, and when you start to hear more details, you’ll begin to see just how deep this new connection goes.
For me, it was a return to the Czech Republic, which I fell in love with last year. The box lacrosse in Radotin is obviously top notch, and the tournament scene is as good as it gets, but the village, and the people of Radotin, have so much more to offer than just excellent boxla. It is truly a little slice of heaven on Earth. Forget the resorts, big cities, and museums, I’ll take that beautiful little town any day!
All this brings me to the entire point of this week’s Hot Pot: Travel does you good.
Meeting new people, and trying to make your way around a country where you don’t truly know the language, or culture, can be difficult, especially when you venture outside of tourist heavy areas. Differences in food availability, sleeping accommodations, cultural customs, toilet paper, and a host of other issues can all seem daunting. The inclination to keep to yourself or your group of friends in an attempt to maintain “normalcy” is strong.
But that would be missing the entire point!
The more I travel around the country and world, the more I believe that delving into the local scene to be crucial for a truly beneficial experience. Being the same old you, just in a different place, is fine and dandy because you’ll see a lot, but being a better you? A more open-minded you? A more interesting and interested you? Well, travel gives you that opportunity, and I highly recommend that you take it.
When I’m thrown into a new environment, and all of my old crutches and aids are gone, I am forced to adapt, and to think on my feet. I have to open my senses to the rest of the world, and that’s just so I can figure out how to order a coffee at the airport. When I speak with someone who speaks English as a third or even fourth language, communication skills like eye contact become more crucial. An understanding and friendly face certainly helps. Truly listening to what the other person is saying is a must…
Of course when I think about all of the above, I realize I should be doing all of those things all the time, and with everyone, but also that I don’t, because at home, I am comfortable, and life is relatively easy.
My big takeaway from this trip is that I had a lot of fun, lived well, and did good, all in a very different environment. Since I am now home, and comfortable, I should be able to do even better here. I can be better with people. I can be better in life. Travel showed me that, and I can’t wait to make every day a travel day.