Hi guys,

I love exploring! Exploring new coffee shops, new neighborhoods, new cities, new countries. I get really excited whenever I am in a new environment and I want to see everything there is to see. My parents have always taken me to new places when I was younger and have traveled a lot. I am very fortunate to have had these opportunities and now I am traveling by myself I realize how important it is to see new things and explore.

Traveling is going to a place that is unknown to you and trying to get to know that place. At least that is what it means to me. You do not have to go far to travel, you can take the train and ride it to the end of the line or get at a random station. The most important thing about traveling is that you explore a new area. But why is it so important to travel? Staying in you comfort zone is, well, it is comfortable and a new place can be scary. It is important, because traveling shows you all the thing you did not know jet. About cultures, people, yourself and the world we live in.

As I am getting older I realize that traveling has made me more independent and open minded. I have traveled through Europe, I have been to Indonesia and I have explored different parts of the United States. Unconsciously I have been influenced by the different people I have met and cultural differences I have experienced. From a young age I have learned that there is not one right way of looking at things and there is always another way to see something. Part of that is the way my parents have raised me, but I strongly think that traveling has had a great influence on it as well.

Another thing you will gain when you travel is knowledge of cultures. I am really interested in new cultures and it is a dream of mine to emerge myself in as many different cultures as I can in my life. At the moment I am living in New York, but I grew up in The Netherlands. Both places have a western culture and there are a lot of similarities between both places, but there are also a lot of differences.  you do not have to cross the ocean to get to know a new culture like I did. I am sure there are cultural differences in the city you live in or the state or the country. Just go outside and explore those areas, you never know what you might find.

From personal experience I know that is scary to travel by yourself. You do not have to. Ask a friend or a family member you are comfortable with and go together. If you do decide to go by yourself, you will probably run into things you have never experienced. When I moved to New York, I got extremely home sick. I had never been home sick before and I have been out of the country by myself before. It surprised me, but in the end I got to know myself better. Whether you go traveling by yourself or with a friend, there will always be situations you are not prepared for. As long as you know that when you start you travels, you are as prepared as you can be and know that it is a learning experience and you will get through it.

Traveling is all about exploring. Not just exploring a new place, but also yourself. When you actively explore a new place, you are growing and you are getting to know yourself. Seeing how you behave and who you are in new surroundings can be very revealing. Take it slow and start by exploring places closer to home and when you are comfortable, you can go a little farther. Keep taking small steps out of you comfort zone.

Take care!

Merel from My Blue Striped Life

Published by Merel Makkus