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The Travel Experience – and to where it leads!

deprivation is great
Patric Ganz
  • On July 27, 2014
  • http://www.howsmallistheworld.com

 

“Traveling is also a verifying process.”

Patric Ganz

This article had to be written as a reaction to a contribution of an US law professor who discredited traveling as a completely useless activity (Althouse). Without going into greater detail of her argument, in my opinion, she took the wrong side and really traveled the wrong way (high-budget, vacation style) to give a substantial and general judgement about travel. I`ve already shown in other articles (e.g. Travelers Die Happier; Why You Should Travel) why traveling is such a rewarding activity. This is a new attempt to descriptively show that THE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE is like no other.

The Travel Experience

the travel experience and to where it leads

The “travel experience” – diagram above is by far not exhaustive, but summarizes some of my most important findings in a hopefully descriptive way.

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Download as PDF:

THE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE

Clarification of “The Travel Experience”

In this analysis I focused on travels that are:

  • Low Budget: Budgets higher than 30 or 40 US Dollars per day allow you to sleep in hotels that look the same all around the world. They allow you to take transportation means that locals can`t afford and they allow you to eat your “favorite food at home” everywhere you are. Lower budgets restrict you to home stays, low-budget hostels or couch surfing. You eat local food with locals in local restaurants. And you stand next to locals in crowded buses or trains. Rewarding contacts with locals and interesting travelers are guaranteed.
  • Individual: You organize EVERYTHING yourself. No booked-in-advance tours, no agencies (if possible). Learn to be able to do most things by e.g. being insistent or enduring. You are the master of your travel. You decide. It`s sometimes tough, but this way your social and personal skills will improve most effectively.
  • Mid-term: I do not include long-term traveling. Long-term travels bring further benefits, but also drawbacks that differ to the findings displayed in the diagram.
  • Solo: If you travel solo, all the effects of a travel experience are intensified. You cannot delegate any responsibilities whatsoever. No work-sharing is possible.
the travel experience

A female traveler learns to play sitar … and hereby encreases her overall skills. Photo: Tanja M. in Arstanbob, Kyrgyzstan.

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First of all, travel experiences that you make with locals, other travelers and places are simply new experiences. They need to be evaluated and judged. The simplest way is separating them into “positive” and “negative” experiences. And a first critical reflection might already lead you to some valuable information and knowledge gain, either about yourself or about the world around you.

deprivation is great

A lavabo in a little jurt camp at Song-Kul, Kyrgyzstan. Does this look like a lot of deprivation?

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In a second phase (critical reflection) you might start to combine and compare your newly gained information with other sources of information. Discuss your observations with other people. Books, newspapers and magazines are very useful, too. Or even go for some studies at a school or university. Traveling is also a verifying process. And that`s especially the moment when travel experiences lead to something valuable. They make YOU grow, in varies ways:

You not only gain new knowledge, but also verify your preexisting knowledge stock. You understand “things” better because you experienced them directly; you basically incorporated them in your body. You learn to know new ways of living and new perspectives of how to see and approach the world. If you judge them as valuable (note: maybe not as valuable as your own), traveling might influence your personal tolerance level in a “positive” way. Traveling also enables you to work on your skills, no matter if language, social or practical skills. When meeting people outside your regular environment, you also encounter new options how you could live your own life.

milking a mare in kyrgyzstan

A sheperd girl milking a mare. What a great experience to see or even help her! Photo: at Song-Kul, Kyrgyzstan.

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Further, what I am also sure about: Traveling the way I depicted above helps not only decreasing an existing fear of contact, but also xenophobia in general.

I might have left out other benefits traveling could have on you. But what I can guarantee you is: Travel experiences are useful, valuable and rewarding at once and therefore you cannot miss them out. Just don`t do it. Explanation mark!

What do you think to where the experience of traveling leads? What are the lessons you have learnt while traveling? How high do you rate the travel experience for a great life?

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Greetings from Kyrgyzstan

Patric Ganz

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Thanks for liking or even sharing my experience!
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Comments

  1. After 13 years of traveling (ranging from 1 month to 6 months), on this trip I saw this 30-day travel period as a sample of how I have been living out my entire life’s routine. I mostly travel solo and, in the “processing” of my last trip in April, this ‘sample’ has revealed to me the areas of my life behaviors where I have been missing opportunities both small and great everyday. Also revealing are the “clutter and clamoring” stumbling blocks that I have allowed into my daily routine. Yet I became more aware of my strengths re-emerging once again far away from the safety net of home. This has put within me a fresh awareness of people, actually enjoying their presence and observing with new eyes all over again. It wakes me up from the dullness of life that I allowed to slowly creep in unnoticed, and has brought a new and fresh sensitivity that is both challenging and encouraging at the same time; all within this 30-day ‘sample.’ Travel is an absolute necessity for insight and growth, a touching of others’ lives in exotic, unfamiliar and new places. It stretched me, even in this stage of my life, and brought a new awareness and meaning to my existence as a result. In summary, this 30-day “experiment,” I realize, has given me a mirror or reflection as to how my life had become stagnant, plus the desire and drive to make the changes necessary that will continue long after this ‘trip’ (gift) is over.

    • Amazing words and an impressive statement by a far traveled lady! I love to hear from experienced travelers like you what they think about traveling and its value for living a rewarding life.

      Thanks for your inputs which are mainly (I hope I got them right):

      – Traveling Solo is a must, at least ones in a life time.
      – Travels could help finding new opportunities to live a more rewarding life.
      – Travels can reveal unwanted and harming routines in everyday life.
      – Travels can lead to a new and fresh sensitivity that is both challenging, but also encouraging.
      – Travels are a necessity for insight and growth.
      – Traveling can give you new awareness and meaning to one`s existence.
      – Travels can help you to make necessary changes.

      Once more: Thanks for your contribution, Mary!

      Traveling Pat

  2. Richard Ganz

    Lieber Patric

    Herzlichen Dank für Deine Replik zu der professoralen Aussage. Ich kann Deiner Argumentation gut folgen. Sie ist für mich stimmig und nachvollziehbar.

    Ein (für mich wichtiger) Professor sagte einmal sinngemäss Folgendes: “Die wirklich schönen Dinge im Leben sind nutzlos!”
    Geniess die schönen Dinge im Leben ohne sie (wissenschaftlich) rechtfertigen zu müssen!

    Liebe Grüsse Dein Paps

    • Danke Paps,

      In ihrer Freizeit können Professoren auch mal recht warme Luft rauslassen. Einfach mal um richtig “Luft” abzulassen.

      Wir geniessen die schönen Dinge, versprochen.

      Liebe Grüsse aus Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

  3. Greetings, I still think of our wonderful talk in the Ephesus hostel and then the pleasant surprise of seeing you once again in Cappadocia. I am fascinated by your adventurous spirit and I enjoy following your “explorations” travels. God bless you as He already has.

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