I’ve noticed recently that there is a huge trend on social media for people to brag about the number of countries they’ve visited. At first, the number of countries one has visited may sound impressive, however, not all visits are created equal. Those that partake in this behavior tend to be more concerned with appearances than substance. The more countries one has visited does not necessarily equate to an increased level of knowledge or understanding of the world. This all comes back to a famous quote that I’ve learned to appreciate more and more over the years,
quality over quantity.
This is a beautiful yet simple quote that can be applied to many parts of life, but first, let’s focus on how it applies to travel. Throughout all of my experiences, I’ve met tons of people who have traveled to many countries, but when push came to shove, many had not truly experienced the places they had visited. Perhaps they lived in a country for several years, but didn’t learn the language and only spent time with other foreigners much like themselves. This type of experience only offers a glimpse of a culture.
I’ll illustrate this with another example of several flight attendants that I’ve met. In Asia, becoming a flight attendant is typically quite a glamorous career for young women. A majority of those that I’ve met like to advertise this on their social media and boast of their extensive world travels. In reality, things are quite different than what they portray online. It is true that they are able to visit many countries, but the key is that they’re unable to have a truly deep experience. They have enough time to visit famous places, grab a few photos and head back to the hotel to prepare for their next flight, but not enough time to meet local people and observe how things really work.
Today, it seems that everyone loves to travel, and that is truly a fantastic trend. If you weren’t aware, this is actually the goal of this website, to encourage people to travel the globe to realize the similarities in all of us. However, for travel to be most effective and rewarding, it has to be done in the correct manner. There is no point in visiting a foreign country if you’re not going to truly learning experience it. The main goal when traveling the globe should be to expand your thinking through authentic and local experiences. This will make us all better humans and also improve the rest of society while doing so.
It seems too often, that as a society we focus on quantity over quality. For example, society pushes us to accumulate physical possessions instead of enjoying what we already have. Any activity that is a numbers game, typically leads to a never-ending cycle of cat and mouse. Just as we attain a goal focused on quantity, such as amount of money or number of countries visited, we will then feel empty after we’ve reached the goal, and once again, find ourselves hunting for the next unfulfilling goal based on quantity.
True fulfillment and happiness comes from inside and cannot come from outside influences. What actually leads to happiness, is focusing always on quality over quantity. Instead of visiting a place, for just a couple of days and glossing it over, I’d recommend that you take more time, allowing yourself to dive deeper into an authentic and life-changing experience. Truly developing and mastering your skills instead of just appearing to be, will benefit you and everyone around you!
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment on my Instagram to let me know what you think!