During my last trip to London, my friends and I caught up at a local pub. As we enjoyed the time together, we also talked to our waiter more as the night went on. We told him where we were from and learned that he was from Sweden — there was a little bit of a language barrier.
One thing that stood out to me was a phrase he said during the middle of our conversation. He said, “If I want to understand you, I’ll understand you”. Even though he may not have meant it the way I understood it, I thought it was so profound – so I wrote it down so I could remember it. I think about this quote often and try to apply it to my daily life.
It is easy to pass judgement on others without taking the time to understand them. But be careful and conscious before you do! A good traveler should have an open mind when experiencing new cultures, languages and customs. Having an open mind is critical while traveling, it might take time, but it will eventually open your mind and you will grow as a traveler and more importantly as a person.
If we are willing to take the time to understand each other – we can – despite what language we speak or where we come from.