Your perception of what a country is like is most likely wrong.

The image in your head when you visualize a country…is probably flawed.

It was for me…every time I traveled.

The reality of what a country was ACTUALLY like never aligned with my perceptions of what I thought it would be like.

This is what I thought India would look like…

This is what it actually looked like…

Another example – I recently spent 6 months in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Before I went there everyone told me it was violent and dangerous and to be very careful while I was there.

The reality? I lived in a favela and I never once experienced anything shady.

The people I know who WERE robbed, were robbed in the richer parts of the city that are perceived to be safe.

Ain’t that funny?

The reality is, the only way to experience a city or country is to GO THERE.

Your opinion of what that place is like is 100% wrong. There is no possible way for you to imagine somewhere without going.

Traveling has taught me that in order to form an opinion on a place I have to go there.

Before I have an opinion on a activity, I have to experience it.

If I haven’t experienced it, I can’t comment on it.

Many of us have opinions on places we’ve never been and activities we’ve never tried.

Traveling taught me not to be one of these people. It taught me not to trust my perceptions

Experience is the only way to understand the reality. Experience the reality of a place. Shatter your perceptions.

Also published on Medium.

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