“It is not the first time I have been there: I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal this time last year and it took my breath away. I'm
sure you have seen the pictures in magazines and books but you have to be there to truly appreciate the grandeur and the beauty of the place.
I absolutely love travelling and have been a solo traveller for the last 6 years. I have travelled on my own to many countries in Europe and Asia such as Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka and even lived in China. The advantages of going abroad are too many to list, but here are a few:
- It broadens your horizons. Although I travel alone, I never feel lonely because I always meet new people from different backgrounds who share many stories that stay with you long after your travels. Some have even become my friends.You learn so much by experiencing new cultures, sampling new food and you learn to cope with foreign customs. In India, people like to take their time and coming from London, I realised how impatient I was when the cashier at the Bureau de Change took 10 minutes to change a few pound notes into rupees at Mumbai Airport.
- You learn new languages and appreciate how hard it is for other people to learn your language. In India, there are 22 major languages spoken and the writing is impossible to read for a beginner. You learn to be more patient and understanding with foreigners when you become a student yourself.
- You can enjoy the warmer climates by escaping the freezing winter in England. Going to Mumbai and Goa where the temperatures reached 37 degrees Celsius in the middle of January helped me beat the winter blues, making me a more positive and happier person.
- You get to see beautiful landscapes as well as the slums. I highly appreciated what Goa had to offer with its beautiful white sandy beaches and warm sea waters where you would want to swim for hours, but I also saw the ghettos and homeless people lying on the streets trying to survive with whatever food they can find. You then realise how lucky you are and you stop complaining so much.
Overall, as a teacher, travelling has helped me to be more empathetic towards others and manage my multilingual classes better.
I believe that being exposed to different cultures can help you enhance your performance at work and give you that edge you need in the competitive world of business.”
From Ebru Ergen, Tutor at OISE London