Benefits of Traveling

We all know traveling is a fancy trend nowadays, but apart from the appreciated pictures and barging to the world, traveling is a personal experience. One that you live individually and that should shape your character. Let me give you my list of benefits that I get from traveling around the world.

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  • Embrace and accept new cultures

When you go to a new place you should try to blend in. Live, act and dress accordingly to the culture and community. I know you want to look good in the pictures, but respecting the place you are visiting is a must. By being in contact with a new culture you get to experience how these people live, what are their favorite activities, what are their national celebrations, what is their history.

  • Learn to adapt and to socialize with a large variety of people

If you are a traveler and not a tourist you will not lock yourself in a resort, you will go beyond your comfort zone and you will interact with the locals. You will try to understand them in their language, broken or fluent English or body language. You will see both the rich and the poor, all countries have a combination of the two.  You will take the bus and you will socialize with the people around you.

  • Learn a few words in a different language

It is a nice sign to show your respect by learning a few words in the local language. You don’t have to make a full conversation, but words like: hello, goodbye, thank you or please are nice to know. Give it a try and you will see their faces light up when you are trying to speak their language.

  • Try new food

The culinary experiences are one of my favorites. Experimenting all sorts of new tastes and dishes that are served in the traditional places or in the public markets. Cheap or expensive, it is important to give it a try. Clearly, you need to aware of the fact that the food might not be on your taste or that for a non-local can send you to the toilet for a few days, so do your homework before and try everything in moderation.

  • Become more considerate when judging a person’s background

Sometimes to tend to judge people without knowing their struggles. It is easy to say that poverty is by choice and that they are not ambitious enough to breakthrough. Once you get to travel and see the not so fancy part of the world, you will become more considerate of other people’s struggles. You will see this in all the major countries, even in the richest ones, so don’t get the impression that this is only happening in other places.

  • Learn more about the world’s history

When you get to a new place you will learn about its history, what made it get to the shape it is today. What are the stories of the walls, castle, bridges, landscapes, towns or forests? It is important not to live the place before you find out more about it if you like to do your homework before arriving you could even get to explore the areas that are not flooded by tourists. Make sure you contact a guide if you want someone to tell you these stories and walk you through the area.

Traveling: Unlocking Chicago, The Windy City

For the second time in America, I got the chance to visit one of the most famous cities in the country, Chicago, home of Chicago blues and “Chicago-style” Dixieland jazz.

Chicago at night

Although the buildings are not as big as the ones in New York, there is something about Chicago that makes you feel like you are living the American dream. Most of the tall buildings had a pink light on the top in October for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in the city center, the Cancer Survivors’ Garden is placed. It is a good place to visit and read the survivor’s stories, a beautiful tribute that the city has brought to its people.

In the Millennium Park, the Cloud Gate is found, but most likely everyone will be referring to it as “the bean”, a modern sculpture that attracts thousands of tourists each day, The stairs in front of it are usually filled with people having coffee and enjoying the sun. For me it was amazing to see a mix of cultures all together having fun, it is the absolute vibe that a city can give me.

During the night the city lights up, the clubs open their doors and line gets formed at the entry of almost all the bars. If you have a chance try a Malicious, Maligned Malört shot, it is probably the worst shot I ever took, but it was definitely an interesting experience. If you had too much to drink, make sure you grab a “Chicago Hot-Dog” before you go to sleep, trust me when I tell you, it is not your usual hot-dog.

Another dish that you have to try while you are here is Giordano’s deep dish pizza. Tastes nothing like pizza, but more like a lasagna on a pizza dough. One slice was enough for me and the boys couldn’t have more than 2 slices, so make sure you are hungry when going to Giordano’s.

The most breathtaking view from Chicago will be from the Willis Tower, a 110-story skyscraper from where you get the 360″ view of the city.  Also, you will get the chance to walk on glass and see the city right under your feet, make sure you are not afraid of highs, it is a rush to walk on glass.

On my only no-work day, I manage to go to the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. In the museum, the Jurassic World exposition was held, so I relived one of my childhoods favorite movie. I highly recommend both places for a cold day when you want to learn some new stuff.

Since my time in Chicago was limited to a week and a half and I also had to work in 5 of the days, I didn’t get the chance to see all that was to see. Furthermore, the weather wasn’t on my side and I had rain in 4 of the days and I couldn’t take the architectural boat tour, but it is definitely on the list for the next time.