Week 3: Learn Through Travel

This post is part of BootsnAll’s Indie Travel Challenge 2012.

Have you ever studied or taken classes on a trip? What did you study, and perhaps more importantly, what did you learn while on that trip? What would you like to learn on your travels this year?

I love taking classes and studying on trips.  Its a great way to slow down and get immersed and no matter what the class I am taking is, I am really looking to learn more about the culture I am visiting.  Each time I end up being fascinated by my teachers life.  I took a cooking class in Udaipur, India once and in addition to being able to cook a full cook book of Indian food after the 4 hours, I learned the fascinating story of a brahman women who after her husband died couldn’t leave the house for a year and then had to get creative to sneak jobs to survive since it was forbidden to women of her caste to work.

 

When I took Spanish classes in Xela, Guatemala, all I really wanted to do was understand enough Spanish to communicate random stories that I heard or was trying to tell so I could understand cultures better.    My real goal in the class was to be able to tell a joke in Spanish by the end.  Now I keep speaking Spanish every day and am obsessed with the expressions.

 

Its been a while since I’ve actually taken formal classes and maybe that’s because I finally learned that travel is not a race for me where I need to check off countries or sites, all I really want to do is learn a little more about what makes other people tick and what makes me tick too.  I finally learned to relax and be comfortable doing nothing at all.

What will I learn this year on my travels or what would I want to learn?  Hmm…well this year is going to be different.  I have no plans to visit new places, I just want to revisit the old ones.  I plan to make my 3rd and 4th trips back to Galapagos and continue working with  Hacienda Esperanza to introduce new sustainable technologies, so I hope to learn as much as possible about different technologies.  I hope the volunteers that come help me to learn things from each one of their life decisions that brings them to Galapagos.

Also, this year I want to learn to travel at home better.  I get so excited about different cultures but I want to get excited for whats going on in my home and what there is to see.  I spent 5 years traveling for work and am just now learning that I should see things other than restaurants and hotels when I am in small cities in the US.  I am excited at the chance to show off the US this year to some travel buddies and introduce culture shock and give them a more worldly perspective.

The last thing I hope to learn this year or continue to learn is to take risks.  Its so easy to think that everyone is going to rob you or everyone is lying. If you always think that you will never meet anyone at all.  So far I guess I have been lucky,  I have never been robbed (well not while abroad) and despite how improbable it seems sometimes, generally people have told me the truth(I am not completely naive; I dont listen to touts). I hope this year continues to teach me that trusting people has great rewards.  I am excited to look at this after a year and see what I actually have learned…hopefully not that I am an idiot for trusting people!

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