One thing I’ve learned throughout my travels is that no two people experience the same event in the same way.
Ask two people who just went to the same mountain/landmark/event what their favorite takeaway was, and each person will have a different favorite part.
Each person experienced the same event in a slightly different way.
They experienced it through their own lens. The lens of their experiences.
We are all a collection of our individual experiences. The prior events in our lives determine how we will react to events today.
Lets say we have Brother A and Brother B.
Brother A went hiking at a young age with his father and had a traumatic experience. He hasn’t been hiking since.
Brother B never got to experience nature as a kid. He yearns to explore the wilderness.
Take both of these brothers on the same hike and they will have radically different experiences. Brother A will be battling past traumas while Brother B will be appreciating the scenery.
Even in smaller examples like concerts this remains the case.
Two people might like different songs and appreciate different parts of the performance.
We all experience the same events differently. Traveling is no different.
This was radically apparent when I was living in Bangalore, India.
The vast majority of people I’ve met who have been to India have had polar experiences. Either they LOVED it, or it was HELL ON EARTH.
Our personalities and dispositions affect how we react to the outside stimuli we experience.
Riding in a rickshaw might exhilarate me but scare the shit out of you.
Eating with your hands might gross you out but I love it!
There are so many examples of the small ways we decide to embrace or resist certain experiences.
Traveling has taught me how to be more sensitive to the needs of others. While trying something new I can be more aware that other people might be afraid of an activity because of a prior life experience.
I don’t want to push people into uncomfortable situations (at least unwillingly 😉 ). I need to be aware that other people are having a different experience than I am.
Traveling has taught me that your experiences are unique to YOU.
No one will have the same conversations as you. Think the same thoughts as you. You can try to mimic someone’s trip to a T, but it will still be yours.
Experiences are unique to the individual. Your journey is yours alone. 🙂