I grew up in a small town in the South of Scotland with not much diversity and not a great deal of people. I mean, it was a really nice place to live in for a few years of my school life, but I wouldn’t have wanted to stay there for too long. In small towns it’s common to have ‘Small Town Syndrome’ where people look and act the same, and everyone is involved with each others business. I was even guilty at the time of falling into a certain way that now when I look back, I didn’t like at all. I was very sure of myself, nothing else mattered apart from this small town and these people, I didn’t branch out because it wasn’t the thing to do. Felt quite robotic in a sense.
Travelling allows you to get over yourself. It essentially slaps you back into reality and opens your eyes to the fact that the world absolutely does not revolve around you. I have been away from home for many years now, and I have learned this lesson greatly. Even when I moved to Aberdeen a few years back things changed for me, I was pulled out of my comfort zone, I felt very scared and uncomfortable for a while because no one knew me and I was used to everyone around me knowing who I was, it opened my eyes to the difference in the world and it inevitably did me a power of good.
Aberdeen is 4 hours away from my town and I now consider this city my home, I have met the most special friends in the world there, ones who share the same views as me and the ones I can be ultimately comfortable with, I fell out of any robotic pattern I once had because I realized I didn’t have to pretend to be a certain way, I was just exactly who I wanted to be and they enjoyed me for being me, it was extremely refreshing.
Currently I’m sitting here in Canada and thinking about how my comfort zone has been further stretched by moving across the continent and meeting entirely new cultures of people. People who look and act absolutely nothing like me.
I realize these different cultures are so enriching and its absolutely okay that they aren’t like me, because it brings me out of my comfort zone even more as I embrace these new people and their ideals. I have met so many people here who I aspire to be like and who are insanely interesting. Due to the friendliness of the people over here, a girl named Carly asked me if I wanted to go for drinks with her a few nights ago. Gagging for a drink of wine and eager to meet a new person, I accepted the offer and we ended up getting very merry (possibly too merry as I don’t quite remember getting home). I found out so much about her that I was literally astonished by. She lived across the other side of Canada in a place called ‘Yellow Knife’ and decided that she wasn’t happy with her life there, she found herself depressed, low and drinking all the time, she found her life wasn’t going anywhere and that she was just wasting her time partying and leading a crazy lifestyle. So she left her home, and came to Vancouver completely alone, rented out a small little cabin out of town by the lakes and mountains, and she now lives there ready to take on her next chapter in life. How brave is that?!
Listening to this girl talking reminded me of how amazing people are and how there is so much more to the world than our own little bubbles. She carried on to tell me that she travelled around Europe alone and that it gave her time to find herself and meet new people and hear their stories. She inspired me so much and gave me an inspiration for this blog because it’s so incredible how much an individual can learn about themselves from travelling.
Travelling is humbling, it empowers you, and allows you to truly express who you are. It allows you to find out about yourself, and question yourself like you never would stuck back in your comfort zones at home. Vancouver is already opening my eyes so much to the beauty of the world and to the different cultures before me.
I am realizing that there is more beauty in the world than I have the ability to see in a life time, but I have the ultimate desire to explore as much of it as I can and fully open my eyes to what the world has to offer.