Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

O is for Open Mind

Day 14 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad

The definition of open minded is a willingness to try new things or to hear and consider new ideas, something that is a constant necessity and required quality in the life of a nomad. In order to travel extensively, one needs to possess an open mind towards anything that might be encountered – good or bad. Narrow mindedness will only leave a tourist frustrated, uncomfortable and at a loss. At which point, he/she might as well stay home.

When exploring new countries, a nomad needs to be flexible in order to deal with unexpected situations and unpleasant circumstances. Rarely ever does something go exactly as planned (because of the weather, the company, the lack of efficiency, different traditions and priorities, delays, health reasons, or the mood) and sticking to a tight schedule or well-defined itinerary will cause disappointments and negative feelings. Better to take it easy and be prepared, but in a relaxed manner.

An open mind also comes in the form of tolerance. You are not alone in this world! When traveling, you need to deal with other tourists, locals, drivers, campers, cruisers… anyone who will cross your path.  This could lead to interesting conversations, intriguing experiences, enlightening moments, new friendships and long-lasting memories. It will provide cultural immersion and a deeper understanding for the world and its diversity. Therefore, it is my belief that the more people travel, the more acceptance that creates, and the better our world will become.

Do you have an open mind? Does travel widen perspectives and understanding in your opinion? What is something that you learned while traveling?

In past blogs I wrote about serious topics, like education, getting around, health, love, money, and traveling with kids, and not so serious ones, like joy, freedom, adventure, nature, belongings, campers and dogs. Tomorrow, P stands for Plans.

18 Comments

  1. Always interesting to see how other societies approach the problems of making our way in the world. In the end, everyone wants the same things — a safe home, good friends, health, love …

    • You are so right about that – we all want the same things, but yet, we are all so different! It is intriguing to say the least!

  2. I think travel can open your mind and widen your perspectives, but only if you want it to. When some people travel overseas, they take what they see and experience and use it to reinforce their preconceived notions and stereotypes, rather then letting travel challenge the to reevaluate what they think and believe.

    Taro root ice cream sounds interesting. How was it?

    Cheers – Ellen | thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com

    • You are right about the preconceived notions, Ellen. And then, there is also the group who wants to take what they had in their own country to the place they decided to visit or settle, as I have seen happen in popular cruising destinations and ex-pat communities. You visit these places to experience a new lifestyle or because you don’t like what you had at home, so why trying to change that community that you now call your own? It’s all about a balance, I suppose. The taro ice cream was sweet and very tasty, actually. I’d eat it again on any tropical day! 🙂

  3. I agree. I think travel to other countries widens perspectives if the traveller is open to the experience. It’s certainly changed my outlook on life!

  4. To be honest, I struggle with having an open mind to other foods. I can really struggle with foreign delicacies. I want to try and be interested, but sometimes my head is shaking no, please don’t make me eat the eyes!

    • Lucy, that’s a tricky one, especially when witnessed by the locals and it can be taken as an offense when you don’t eat it. Sometimes, you can get away with it, when claiming you are a vegetarian. 🙂 Most cultures would understand that, I think. As for your own curiosity, when it would make you (or your stomach) upset, I wouldn’t try it, either.

  5. Mark Twain wrote that travel widens the mind and narrows your tolerance towards those with none of their own. Oh, if only those with closed minds came with closed mouths!

  6. I’d like to think I have an open mind. I totally agree that the more people encounter one another, especially while traveling, the better our world will be. It is easy to dislike someone or something in the abstract. it is much harder to do that when you experience things firsthand.

    • That is so true, Ryan. In anonymity lays strength and courage, without having to show your face. We sometimes have customers throwing all kinds of dishonest and rude things at our heads via email. Then, when we talk with them on the phone, they sing an octave lower, as the saying goes in Dutch! I truly believe in first hand experiences and knowledge, to make up your own critical mind. I always taught my students that way and hope people raise their kids that way as well.

  7. Being open minded allows you to learn so many things!

    Plucking of My Heartstrings

    • I agree, Cheryl. You will learn a lot that way, while still having the privilege to disregard things you don’t like and see things in perspective.

  8. I definitely agree that travel opens up our world and our minds. Being immersed in other cultures and languages such a gift of the experience.

    • That’s right, Sue. The two are mutually inclusive, if you ask me. It is the curiosity and the promise of excitement, learning and understanding, that draws us towards new experiences and intriguing cultures. Just thinking about it now, makes me want to set out into the world again! 🙂

  9. The post and pictures beautifully invite me to travel places I’ve never been. I’d like to see those dancers, eat those foods, have those conversations. All experiences to treasure. My travels have taught me that the most memorable experiences come along when least expected.

    • That is so true, Beth, and totally in line with my P-post for today! Better not to have expectations and you will most likely be pleasantly surprised at what happens… Such a joy, when that happens! 🙂

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