#TravelThursday Let People Experience Things for Themselves
Yeah, you heard me. It’s time to let people experience things for themselves!
Tell me if you’ve been in this situation, you tell a friend or even someone in passing that you’re traveling somewhere. Instead of an encouraging “ooo yes!” you hear countless warnings or anecdotes of other people’s experiences in that country. “Oh well I heard people get robbed there?” or “Aren’t they racist?” I’m not bashing people who are concerned about safety as we all should be. I just like to ask- why is this the INITIAL response? Why do we attempt to scare away people from experiencing life? And I ask- when foreign friends come to visit the US- do we heed the same warnings? Probably not.
The truth is, no two people will experience situations the same. Some black people go to India and enjoy their time and feel revered as a celebrity. Some black people go to India, experience blatant racism and vow to not return. Some people like the attention you get from the constant photo taking in China, for some people it will ruin their trip. The same people your friend or that stranger encountered on a trip, will NOT be the same people you encounter.
And with everything in life, people bring their life circumstances into situations which help to shape the outcome. For example- I went to a predominately white elementary school, therefore, I’m used to feeling othered and “token”. I’m also pretty numb to casual microaggressions and racism. If you haven’t experienced a situation like that, that experience may be jarring for you. Experience is subjective.
It’s okay to listen to friends, strangers or family’s recommendations on travel but please, do not let it shape your entire experience. Be safe, be aware and be smart in everything you do but don’t let fear stop you from seeing what you want to see.