Ahhh vacation! Man was that needed! Every time I travel I gain new insight about myself, about the world, and my thoughts start to evolve yet again.
One thing that came up for me this time is that when we force ourselves to be brave we reap benefits we couldn’t have anticipated. (Also, bravery is different for everyone, what one person considers brave could be a piece of a cake for another.)
I am someone who likes to communicate, I like to sound articulate and thoughtful. But when I travel to countries where English is not the first language, I am forced to sound like a toddler (if I’m lucky) and boy is that humbling!!
There were a number of times during the trip where I had to get over my fear of sounding like an idiot, so that I could EAT, or get a taxi to the airport, or figure out where the hell we were! I was tempted to give up during these moments and just survive on chocolate. But the experiences we would have missed out on if my travel buddy and I hadn’t pushed through the discomfort would’ve been MANY.
Rewards meet us on the other side when we are brave and get over how we appear to others.
The other thing I started to realize is that we weren’t being judged about not speaking English, we were just meeting other fearful people as well. People we met were initially embarrassed about their English speaking abilities and so what felt like indifference or a coldness would essentially disappear the second we showed our vulnerability! My friend noticed that the second we got a smile out of them, we were golden. Those smiles were gateways. So many strangers helped us along the way, and gave us an even more magical trip by doing so.
In the meantime, I will continue to allow myself to be vulnerable and open myself up to situations that may require a little bravery at first, because who knows what reward will greet me on the other side.
Take care of YOU.