Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ramblings about many things

Without a doubt the most rewarding part of traveling are the lessons learned from all the strangers you meet.
As much as we wish to think other people have their agendas for or against us, most of the time other folks are simply reacting to whatever feelings we are transmitting accross to them.
These lessons are especially deep when you travel solo. The reason being that you are away from your comfort zone. Completely out of your comfort zone. All the people that surround you will usually ignore your quirks and depending on your friends they may even shower you with compliments (it has never been the case with myself however I know plenty of people who fall in that category).
The thing about complete strangers is that they don't care at all about you in the sense that they don't need to hide their reactions to your quirks. They don't need to shower you with compliments. If you do something stupid, there's a good chance somebody will point that out. Or at least react to you in a certain way that will place a puzzle in your head.
When you analyze people's reactions, you can then learn from it and become a better person.
I remember once back in Jaipur, India, when I was trying to find a driver to take me to the sightseeing locations. There were lots of touts pestering the tourists around there, but this one dude make his case by helping me find the correct booth to buy my train ticket.
Even though I'm an asshole and usually very rude to touts, that one dude grabbed my attention by offering help, in a place where I was feeling pretty much attacked and under danger. Once I got my tickets, I went out again and started asking for prices. It turns out that one dude who helped me earlier had the best price.
Well this one gentleman drove me to the nice places in Jaipur and along the way we were chatting about many things. One of the things that I used to talk a lot was MONEY. I would ramble and vent all the time about prices and all money related things. This dude, who drives a 70's car for a living, driving around entitled western tourists, this one person taught me a lesson by simply saying "come on dude, quit bitching about money all the time".
It was an eye opening experience. I know I probably did that way more and these days when I go back to the first blog posts I notice how much I could only talk about money. All the posts are full of prices and me bitching about them.
Not only that, these days when I see some other traveler doing the same thing I can't help but think "Bitch, please!"
Another think that happens a lot more when you travel solo is that you tend to talk more to other people. When you travel in groups or couples you tend to talk to each other, living on that little bubble and forgetting everything around you.
As a solo person you end up talking to all these strangers who come up with the most weird theories you can think about and the most amazing life stories. Yes, I know you are going to mention that you can find that in any bar near your house, but I call it bullshit. The thing with travelers and not only travelers, but locals as well is that they have experienced things that your buddies in the bar have not.
They see stuff that the folks on your own country have not. Off course you can achieve similar stuff with pen pals, but it seems it's not the same.

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