Traveling and Exploring Cultures

During the prehistoric times, humans traveled from one place to another to look for food and shelter, and since then the tradition of travel hasn’t stopped. Today, however, the number of purposes of travel has increased. People now travel to go to work, to learn new things at school, to meet other people, to close business deals, or simply for the sake of traveling. The means of travel has also increased. The earliest humans traveled only on their feet, then came travel with boats or rafts, with animals, carriages, cars and trains, and airplanes and rockets.

One of the main benefits of travel in today’s times is interaction with cultures beyond own. Contact with other cultures helps us understand ways of life that are vastly different from ours, and that enhances our empathy towards others. We become less inclined to judge others just because they look different and act differently from us. Because these cultures are often beyond a country’s borders, travel with airplane is often necessary. Take the opportunity to travel now and increase your awareness of humanity.

Knowing other cultures is essential for business trips. What is commonplace in our business culture may be bizarre in another business culture. One dichotomy which always counts in any discussion of international business cultures is the East-West dichotomy. Simply speaking, business practice in the East focuses on relationships, while that in the West focuses on pragmatism/instrumentality. There are also business customs and rituals that vary according to place. For example, in the West eye contact is encouraged in a conversation, while in the East it is discouraged and even viewed as confrontational.

You can learn many things by traveling, especially if you do it all over the world. You can see places you previously knew before on books or in the Internet. You can meet many people, gain new friends, and even find your spouse! While there is always an inclination for us to return home, we travel because of the nagging question “What else is there?” Let us consider ourselves lucky today. Two centuries ago, people rarely ventured more than fifty miles away from their homes. Today, you can travel a thousand miles in a matter of hours. So travel and enjoy being in the world at large.

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