- Payal Nayar
Home is where the heart is!
In my opinion travel is the best education, the real life experiences, exposure to different cultures enables us to have a much better understanding, develops us as individuals and gives us a new perspective to life and the world as compared to reading about it or watching films on it. I feel it opens up our minds in so many different ways.
I have been so fortunate and grateful to get this opportunity since the day I was born. Not just travelling the world but also living in different countries. I get asked a lot about where do I think I belong and not everyone understands when I am not able to give them a straight answer. They get very intrigued which is so amusing to see. Everyone has a different outlook and approach that is so personal and of course there is no right or wrong way of thinking. I am not trying to be philosophical here but I feel every stage in our lives is a journey, it depends on our approach towards it.
There are millions of people like me leading similar lives and also consider themselves as citizens of the world but I can just speak for myself and share some of my personal thoughts.
I would not want to turn back the clock and start over differently, this is the only way of life that keeps me going and I thrive on, no trading off for another way of being as far as I am concerned.
The anticipation of the unknown and excitement of once again exploring new horizons for me is foremost, I don’t allow any apprehensions that I may have to take over these positive feelings. Moving to a new environment and way of life is absolutely exhilarating. For me, when I move to a new country my priority is to adapt to the local ways as soon as possible. It is so important to respect and be sensitive to the social norms of the culture and not forget that we have been welcomed with open arms. It now depends entirely on us to make the most of it. I marvel at the way a new country opens up whole new possibilities. There will always be some challenges in the initial settling in stages which I tend to not get overwhelmed with, I take it in my stride as quickly as I can so as to not waste too much time over it. I am always impatient to start exploring the city where I am based.
It is so easy to just slip into the expatriate bubble, the comfort of knowing people who look like you, speak the same language as you can be reassuring but for me it feels a bit stifling. I like to get out of my comfort zone when in a new environment. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the support and the familiarity but for me making new local friends and interacting with them is so important. People are generally welcoming, kind and accepting of you, if you make the effort and they see that you are genuinely eager to understand them.
The best way of learning about a culture in my opinion is through the people and community by understanding the characteristics, habits, their way of thinking and of course the food. There are so many other aspects which can be discovered by just wandering around, exploring, finding some hidden gems which as a tourist, visiting for a few days would be impossible to do.
I will be back soon with some little stories from different parts of the world which are my personal experiences that will stay with me forever so stay tuned.