I’ve realized that some of our greatest thoughts and ideas come when we’re not expecting them, in life’s most mundane of moments. Maybe it’s when you’ve been standing in the shower staring at the wall for a little too long, or right before you fall asleep. This time, it happened while I was on my 11 hour flight from Delhi to Newark. I had just left my program with whom I was teaching English in India. When I imagined this moment a few months ago, I expected to have my friends coming back with me and I expected to be flying to California, not the east coast. But here I was, leaving, alone, with my tail between my legs. I was having the past 5 months of adventures and challenges flash before my eyes. And then I thought about what all this had taught me. Perspectivity.
One thing I heard talked about a few years ago that has never left my mind is the idea of perspective. The idea that yes, we have a perspective of life now based on our upbringing and the depth of our exposure to the world, but we also gain perspective. We need to gain perspective. The key to understanding and appreciating the world is to see things not only through our own eyes, but through everyone we may meet.
And that’s where travel comes in. Adventuring out of our comfort zone is how we grow. It is how we gain perspective. It’s how we go from thinking a tradition is disgusting or cruel, to understanding it’s significance in a culture. It’s how we learn to empathize rather that simply sympathize. We travel to realize the limitation of our own views. Travel helps us gain perspective, and gaining perspective makes us travelers, unaffected by the small-minded lens of a simple tourists eyes.
There’s only one thing left to tie this all together. Positivity. No matter the life you live, no matter the struggles you face, choosing to be positive can change everything. They say that to survive in India you have to laugh when you want to scream, and it’s so true. Being positive turns a wrong turn or a disaster into a funny memory. Positivity is the key to everything in life.
But positivity + perspective? Those are the keys to a true adventure.