It’s taken 26 years, but I can finally say that I have now traveled outside of the United States. And what better place to go than Cancun, Mexico in the middle of the summer for a beach wedding…
Just to be clear, my best friend got married, and not me.
I got to the airport with a freshly printed passport in one hand, and Tiger Woods by Arman Keteyian in the other, boarded the plane, and was on my way to make the most of a five-day vacation.
But before we got to Cancun, we had a two-hour layover in Mexico City.
If you have never been to Mexico City, Mexico, it is quite a bit of a culture shock. You step off the plane, have to go through customs, and then are forced to try and meander your way through a massive airport to make it to your next gate. The best part is – very few speak English, so asking where to go doesn’t really work out too well.
It was much of the same on the plane from Mexico City to Cancun. If I had to guess, I would say that 95% of the plane was predominantly Spanish speaking, and in a matter of just a short few hours, I had gone from feeling comfortable with my surroundings to being the odd one out. I didn’t talk to anybody on the plane, but rather just sat next to the window and looked out over the ocean.
After a brief hour and a half flight, I finally made it to Cancun. I grabbed my luggage, jumped into a shuttle, and was continuously surprised by my surroundings.
The best way to describe Cancun as a city would be the complete opposite of the resort pictures that we are fed. It’s not luxurious at all. The streets are filled with garbage, you can often spot the locals running across the freeway trying to dodge cars, and there are a lot of tents that line the side of the road due to the high level of poverty.
Then you get to the resort… where all is fine and dandy, and where there are no signs of what life is actually life outside of the walls that surround the resort.
For me, it was a complete shock. How can one place be portrayed in such a way when the reality is that it’s actually the complete opposite. Sure, the resorts in Cancun and across all of Mexico are nice, but that’s not the true Cancun. There are no buffets, no free tequila shots, and there is nobody waiting on your every desire. In fact, many are doing everything that they can just to survive through the night.
Why You Should Travel The World
Okay, so now to the real reason for why you should travel the world. You should travel the world because it makes you realize how truly blessed you are and how good you have it in life compared to the vast majority of the world. Not only that, but also because it’s good to break out of your comfort zone and experience a completely new way of life.
I guess I can only speak for myself, but I have become so accustomed to living a certain way and being fortunate enough to have far more than I need, that I have seemingly taken it for granted.
And it’s more-so the little things that I have taken for granted. Things such as the clean water that I can get out of a faucet, the free education that I was given growing up, a roof that I have over my head, a job that pays me more than the national average for an entire household… and these are to just name a few. Yet, despite having far more than I need in life, I still find it appropriate to complain about something when things don’t go my way.
It has also made me realize that there is so much more out there than the areas that I have confined myself to. As much as I love my country and love seeing all of the beauty in it, the United States is only a fraction of the world. There is so much more to see, so much more to do, and so many more different ways of life that I have failed to recognize because I have secluded myself to only staying in a certain part of the world.
Live Freely & Venture Out
The truth is, there is so much to be grateful for and so much that we fail to appreciate. Plain and simple, we need to do a better job of appreciating how truly blessed we are and how good we have it. One way of doing so is by traveling the world and experiencing the many different ways in which other humans live.
That, and this is our one life to live… why not live it to the fullest and soak in all of the amazing places that surround us?
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