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Why We Travel

“If a Mongolian restaurant seems exotic to us in Evanston, Ill., it only follows that a McDonald’s would seem equally exotic in Ulan Bator — or, at least, equally far from everything expected. Though it’s fashionable nowadays to draw a distinction between the ‘tourist’ and ‘traveler,’ perhaps the real distinction lies between those who leave their assumptions at home, and those who don’t.”

Traveling without an open mind is just another inane episode in your life. You fail to fully take in all of the mind-blowing opportunities handed to you on a silver platter. Before even travelling, many hold the prenotion that different cultures contrast each other profoundly. You can focus on the immediate and obvious differences between the two cultures, but why not also realize and experience the similarities? Pico Iyer plainly points out the existence of a fine line between “those who leave their assumptions at home, and those who don’t”. This clear distinction decides the impact the trip provides you with. You must minimize your previous presumptions, which impede your perception of a culture, in order to maximize your complete understanding of that culture.