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Traveling is such a great source of exposure: to language, to communication, culture, food, attire, ideologies.

It also exposes us: our thoughts, our perspectives, our cultures, backgrounds, mindsets and even weaknesses and quirks.

In this post, I’d like to share in brief, the top five things that I got exposed to by traveling and staying abroad:

Transport:

Public transport is the same everywhere. Often delayed, scary at first; but delightful and comfortable once you get the hang of it. And yes, I CAN sleep in all sorts of transport! Hurray!

And yes, train announcements sound garbled and incomprehensible no matter what country you are in!

Driving:

I still suck at this! ¬†ūüė¶

People:

There are friendly people and frowning dragons everywhere! People are the same no matter what our language, age, upbringing, status, ethnicity. We all have our fears, trigger points, pet theories and preferences. If you don’t believe me, stroll out wearing a sports fan cap or with¬†a small child! People will at least nod and smile if not launch into a conversation! And hey, remember¬†the nice people you met, forget¬†the nasty and don’t forget to smile! It’s the best conversation starter ever!

Language:

I learnt one thing by traveling. And that is: you don’t need to know to speak the local language very well to get by in a foreign/ new place. Though it does make things so much easier. You just need to know how to speak well; how to speak courteously, how to be polite and genuinely interested. It might not make for scintillating conversation, but it is great fun! And when you don’t know the other person’s language too well, since we listen better, with keener¬†interest and greater attention, we do¬†connect more. [Of course, it’s nice to apply these techniques with friends and family with whom we do share a common language too!]

Food:

Farm grown produce IS delicious!

Local desserts and freshly baked items smell¬†delightful! Much better than packaged ones! I can’t speak with absolute authority on the taste, since¬†I do not consume meat, fish, eggs or¬†chicken.¬†But, going by the look of delight on T’s face, they are simply too good!

I have to say that making the local recipes at home is a splendid way to know the culture too! Despite my ingredient constraints (I am a strict vegetarian), I still have tried my hand at making popular recipes with substitutes. Even the recipes were not outstanding, it was fun! Plus, you learn so much! Like how baking makes your house warm and fragrant and welcoming during winter! And cooler recipes are a delicious way to stay hydrated and eat fruits (and buy local) in summer. Bonus: now that T can measure and stir dexterously (mostly!), these are amusing activities to learn and have a giggle fest!

Also, if you need to buy chocolates, ask the kids- they always know the best tasting ones!

So, what have you learn through travel? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!

(This post is my response to today’s Daily Prompt: Exposure)

 

 

 

 

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