Hassan H

Yunus Social Business

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How does traveling change you ?

Dear TED Fellow Family,

Traveling is a fascinating experience...

Traveling gives us a chance to experience new cultures, new visions of life and new ways of life...

Traveling provides us with the opportunities to meet a huge diversity of new people and see how other people live...

Traveling forces us to live outside our comfort zones, alter our perspective on things and challenges our deepest beliefs...

How does travel fundamentally change you? How a trip truly transformed you?
What are your best lessons learned?

TED Community, I would love to hear your stories...

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    Oct 23 2013: I like this topic~. I agree with you so much.
    &Travel can help people make more friends. I'm happy I can travel here everyday to meet you all~.:)
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      Oct 23 2013: Hi Yoka!

      You are definitely right !

      The "real travelers" cultivate a sense of curiosity and let go all stereotypes...
      By adopting this attitude we are more willing to listen to each other, learn from each other and start - long-lasting friendships with people from all over the world .

      Thank you for enlightening this point Yoka!
      • Oct 24 2013: Your comment reminds me of a quote by Mark Twain that is said at the end of a Travel show I watch:

        http://www.gypsynester.com/twain-travel.jpg
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          Oct 24 2013: Thanks Mary, it's so intriguing~!:)
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        Oct 24 2013: Thank you for your encouragement too. :)
        Yes, curiosity is powerful. Travel is imagination and creativity~.I'm very interested in other people's travelling experiences written here. Looking forward to seeing more gripping stories.
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    Oct 24 2013: I was very fortunate by living and working in a number of other countries. Some were very similar to the USA. and other where a real jolt to my comfort. However, I would not change a minute of my life and the travels it brought.
    One thing, I found somewhat unexpectedly was the similarities among all people I met around the world. Many more similarities then differences.
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    Oct 25 2013: Travelling helped me change my perspective on "normal." What is normal? I realized that our perspective of life differs according to our culture. This is why I believe that culture differences are beautiful; they help us realize that life has more than one presentation, that what we consider "normal" is bizzare in other places. I remember I once said good-bye to an exchange student from the US; only to feel him freeze and not know where to place his hands. I had given him a kiss on the cheek and a hug. Poor boy didn't know what to do! It is those small things that make me chuckle and appreciate the cultural diversity in this world.
  • Oct 24 2013: Personally, traveling to the USA changed me physically. (I gained 10kg)
    Best lesson was what is normal in my country is not normal in other countries.
    For example, in my country, no one speak nor smile to strangers, but in the USA...always!
    How friendly, helpful, and sometimes so annoying!(How many times should I say that I am not Ninjya nor Geisha?lol) Yes, traveling is great. How about your story, Mr. Hasssan?
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      Oct 24 2013: Very interesting~:)
      Ninjya and Geisha, hahaha.....
      • Oct 24 2013: To tell the truth, I enjoyed to be said like that.
        Because I really like those easy-going attitude. i miss that now..
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          Oct 25 2013: If you're in Shanghai, you 'll probably be asked "Are you Japanese or Korean?"
          Many Japanese told me they gained a lot kilos after living in Shanghai eating Chinese foods.They said because the foods were so delicious that they had eaten too much. But for some westeners,they said after they came to Shanghai and began to eat Chinese food and rice,they succeeded in losing weight because Chinese food and rice contains fewer carolies.

          So I think this could be some advice to those who want to gain weight or lose weight.(๑• . •๑)
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      Oct 28 2013: Kumiko - san !

      O genki desu ka ?

      Actually I ad the chance to live in Tokyo . It was a fascinating experience. Here are my lesson learned:
      Traveling makes me:

      - Increase my self-confidence
      - Gain independence and maturity
      - Gain better appreciation of other cultures as well as my own
      - Be prepared to face challenges in the future
      - Understand my personal strengths and weaknesses

      Japan really changed me as I truly learned, the sense of belonging, participation, Politeness, Respect, Commitment and understood the value of silence as eloquence.

      Now tell me Kumiko-san, why according to you, no one speak nor smile to strangers in Japan ?
      • Nov 2 2013: Genkidesu!(I am fine)
        I couldn't comment by error for a week..
        Let me answer your question.
        There are seems to be some reasons.
        1)Address or smile(or wink) could be disrespect..(somehow)
        2)It is too weird because nobody do.
        3)It is possible to distarb people in crazy busy Tokyo
        4)...too shy
        5) (If you speak English)Japanese are the lowest score of English(Toffle)
        Also, you must be a good traveler(*^o^*)

        Thank you.
  • Oct 23 2013: I'm a big believer in traveling, but I can see everyone's concentrating on the advantages, so I'll have to challenge myself in considering the bad points about traveling:

    1. Constant traveling can be dangerous. Freinds of mine, usually children of diplomats, who have moved through different countries nearly every year of their lives since they were little, all have had, at one point in their lives, problems with identity. Either you have to really be at peace with it, or you have to find a place you can call home, and travel to and from there.

    2. I've heard stories of bad encounters, e.g. facing severe racism on their travels, that's pushed a person into extreme political views and actions.

    Overall though, I believe if everybody travels more, the world would be a better place.
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      Oct 23 2013: Hi Da Way !

      I would tend to think the opposite...

      I think that traveling does not create an identity problem but actually solve it!

      Indeed, when living in a new country I build my inner values through another culture and develop strong Human values such as Tolerance, Respect and Empathy...

      So I think after a significant traveling experience, we become more willing to take a stand for the world’s welfare, as we learn to be humble and realize that we are part of a global community.

      I do understand that we are all different because of our traditions, customs, cultures and religions that create our identity. But we must see these differences not as a threat but as a beautiful fascination and opportunities to learn from and discover the magnificent potential of each Human Being.

      This is essence of traveling and my main lesson learned ...
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      Nov 1 2013: I agree with Hasan, but I admire your courage to bring out the new point for discussing. :)
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    Oct 23 2013: Dear Hassan,
    You have said it all.....traveling is a fascinating experience...introduces us to different cultures...new perspectives on life...opportunity to meet and interact with new people and see how they live...

    I do not agree that traveling necessarily "forces us to live outside our comfort zone" because there are many places we can travel and stay in the same comfort zone. If we travel and stay in hotels similar to what we experience at home, or eat in restaurants similar to what we have at home, we don't get the full effect of the culture. For example, I have heard some folks say they would not eat the local food, or would not stay in a place where there was no electricity because she couldn't plug in her hair dryer! LOL:>) Refusing to travel to a place where there is no electricity disqualifies many WONDERFUL places in our world!

    We need to be able to let go of our comfort zone to fully realize the opportunities to learn with traveling, experience the culture, meet and interact with new people. Probably the best lesson I have learned, is that people are more the same than different:>)
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      Oct 23 2013: Dear Colleen,

      I would like to answer you with a quote from Saint Augstine:
      "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
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        Oct 24 2013: Nice quote Hassan.....thanks:>)

        I say that the world is a HUGE library, and those who do not travel stay only in one section of the library, missing all that might be around the corner in another section:>)
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    Oct 23 2013: I believe travel is very important. It opens your eyes to the rest of the world. I think it's important to see how big the world is. A lot of people think that where they live is the "centre of the universe", but when you travel you realize how far from the truth this is... it changes your perspective for the better.

    Of course an issue is the cost of travel. Not everyone can afford to travel and this is an issue that is not easy to rectify.
  • Nov 21 2013: There are so many indication about travelling.You are leaving your comfort zone, you are taking risks, you are facing different challenges and difficulties, you are forced to overcome fear, prejudices and to communicate with people who may speak a totally unknown language .
    Then you are meeting new cultures and civilisations past and present and get to know local customs.
    All this is a mind opener, and you become less insular, ignorant or narrow minded as a result. It also makes you want to see more of the world, and countries you would not have even contemplated visiting.
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    im boo

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    Nov 2 2013: From my personal experiences, traveling has changed me in the following ways:
    1) I learned to travel LIGHTLY i.e. pack little.
    2) I learned if an opportunity to travel presents itself, I should 99% of the time jump on it and go.
    3) I learned to always keep a current passport if an opportunity occurs where I may want to travel out of the U.S.
    4) I learned the value of a fanny pack i.e. small sling-style waist pack that buckles around your waist. With a loose untucked shirt, the pack is hidden on my waist and I can maneuver in large cities like New Orleans and not have the weight of a purse on my shoulder, and I am less likely to be pickpocketed/have my purse stolen.
    5) Travel truly transformed me permanently from being an extremely shy introvert into a fairly outgoing extrovert.
    6) Travel transformed me in that I am able to strike up a conversation with a stranger of any age, nationality, etc. in any place in any situation.
    7) Travel transformed me in that it broadened my perspective.
    8) Travel changed me in that I learned to love the anonominity one has when amongst complete strangers in a city or place where nobody knows me.
    9) Travel changed me in that I learned to love exploring and adventure.
    10) Travel changed me in that I learned to appreciate what is different from me and from what I knew before I traveled.
    My best lessons learned from traveling besides the ones above are:
    1) Always safeguard your wallet/purse/money
    2) Always safeguard your drink/food so nobody could drug you
    3) Trust your gut instinct always
    4) There are actually insane people out there who may appear totally functional.
    They're driving vehicles on the highway, may be your next door neighbor! I've met some - total lunatics that should be locked up in an asylum. Its scary to think I've met only a few, imagine how many are actually out there...
    How a trip truly transformed me:
    They ALL transformed me.
    What are your best lessons learned?
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    Oct 30 2013: Brilliant idea!

    "Be a traveler, not a tourist "(Bruce Feiler). Traveling is incredibly valuable and important for today's humanity. I wish there would be mandatory student exchange programs in all high schools around the world, so everyone would experience full immersion in at least one culture other than the one they are born in. I think that would cause inevitable spontaneous global peace.

    People are amazing so many amazing and beautiful peoples (like the ones in the related talks above) and here is how I feel from my travels;
    http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude.html

    Hope you are traveling as I write this for your page :-) Happy travels.
  • Oct 27 2013: Travel forces one to rethink their perceptions of the world by confronting one's culturally ingrained behaviors and attitudes. We come to realize that things we once held to be true or right are often not. We then learn learn what's truly important to ourselves and to society and to keep an open mind. We start to see each other more as equals from different cultures than as inferiors or superiors or enemies.

    We also learn about the world - how it physically works and our impact on it. Our consciousness gets raised and we come to realize we're all connected.

    It's a wonderful thing to travel.
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    Oct 24 2013: ..

    Travelling makes me know:

    (1) It is for seeking food and habitat 10,000 years ago.
    (2) It is just wasting our limited resources/energy today.
  • Oct 23 2013: Travelling can change people in many ways.
    I had a travel experience and I changed a lot by getting to know new people, seeing how they live and experiencing their culture.
    Travelling can positively change your perspective and deepen your life experiences.
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    Oct 23 2013: Traveling does bring a lot of change, at least for me; I have experienced it.

    Living inside a well and Questioning others is Foolish, move around and get all the answers!!
  • Oct 23 2013: Travel is great but there are probably more but will limit it to 3 basic levels
    1. Tourist level - you visit a place for a short time and get a flavor of the locality - the culture, society, history, etc.
    2. Visitor level - you stay at a place for up to 6 months - longer than a Tourist. Time to learn where to eat, shop, make a few friends, etc.
    3. Resident level - you stay at a place for more than 6 months possibly years and is very close to being a local.

    Depending on the level, one learns more about the local customs, food, philosophy, etc. Because of this, hopefully you become more open to other people and new ideas and food.