Once upon a time, I was making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a friend. In the process, we realized we both made our sandwiches differently.
I put peanut butter on one side and jelly on the other because that’s what my mom always did.
My friend, however, mixed the peanut butter and jelly together before spreading it on one slice of the bread and placing the other slice on top. That’s what his mom did. Whatttt?!?
Sing it with me now, “A whooooole newwww worlddddd…”
I looked at his sandwich, looked back at mine, and decided I liked his way better. The jelly wasn’t falling out when he picked it up and all the flavor was mixed together. From that day forward, I have been a mixer.
I’m hungry now, but I swear I had a point here. My point is, we all have different “normals.” We all have different ways of doing things, different thoughts and ideas. All of these things are based on where we come from and our personal experiences. I try to begin every trip by reminding myself of that, especially when I’m staying in hostels.
You may not agree with someone’s beliefs or way of doing things, but you can still respect them and practice grace (in most cases). Assuming they’re respectful, you can have a conversation about your differences. You can ask questions about why people feel a certain way. You never know. They may even change your mind while giving you something new to consider. You can learn so much by letting a few walls down and listening. And whether you disagree or not, you can always take what you learn and apply it elsewhere.
Aside from the money I save, I think this is my #1 reason for staying in hostels. It’s an easy way to meet people that inspire me to learn a little more, to keep traveling and to stay curious.
Have you ever met anyone that’s changed your mind about something while traveling, or just inspired you to be open to something new?