4. Show Gratitude: If you’ve ever met a narrow-minded person (who hasn’t!?), you know what I mean. These are people that only feel comfortable only within their own surroundings and are intolerant of other cultures, customs, religions, etc. I will be forever thankful for my job as a Pan Am flight attendant, and the incredible travel experiences I was privy to. My travels opened up my mind and gave me perspective on the world. It made me a “forever grateful” person.
I will never forget taking the tour bus into East Berlin when the wall was still up. The macabre feeling in the air, the downtrodden look of the people, and the gray mist that seemed to permeate the air just screamed out “oppression.” Going through Checkpoint Charlie was enough to make my heart fly out of my chest, especially when I saw the long mirrored stick they used to search under the bus, searching to catch anyone that might have been trying to escape. A profound feeling of gratitude for the freedom I had taken for granted my whole life came over me as soon as we crossed into West Berlin.
5. Get in Touch with your Spiritual Side: Traveling made realize the meaning of “there but for the grace of God go I”…. and I mean that in a very spiritual way. There is that profound feeling of just plain luck—any of us could have been born into any culture, any country, and any circumstance in life. But here I am, and how fortunate. Traveling to unknown territories made me realize that the freedom I take for granted is a gift, and not a given.
6. Learn New Things: Traveling also makes history come alive. And gaining historical knowledge gives you a strong feeling of compassion. Visiting the Jewish Quarter in Prague, where the Pinkas Synagogue has over 77,000 names of Nazi victims inscribed on its walls, and touring Gory Island in Dakar, Senegal, where the historic slave trade site showcases the almost unbelievable conditions that people endured, were life-changing experiences. These are just a couple of examples of how travel can open up your heart and soul.