Most people behave differently when they are out traveling and when they are home. There is probably good explanations why this happens.
When you are out traveling you are much more likely to talk to a stranger, take the road less traveled, join the party or in general just do something out of the ordinary. As soon as you are home again you like routines. You have responsibilities, you have a job and you have mortgages to pay. You have your own friends – you don’t need to go out and make new ones. You go to the same clubs and you eat the same places.
This, of course, is very much a personal thing and some people are better than others at engaging in unusual events. Some might say I just described the difference between an introvert and an extrovert but that’s definitely not the full story. I consider myself fairly extrovert but I don’t nearly act the way at home as I do abroad. Which leads me to my point: I will try to “travel” more while at home.
Some specific ways I’m trying to do this:
- Go to public events, preferably free and out of my comfort zone. Things I wouldn’t normally consider interesting. Two days ago I went to a service in a nearby church. Not special? They invited my favorite danish rappers (Pede B) to go there and perform. Very special situation – mix of normal church goers and hip hoppers in the crowd and he didn’t hold back on the swearing in Gods house.
- Join private parties/events – don’t stay home because you’re shy. I realize this can be hard for many but it’s totally worth it. I promise.
Let me get in a bit on a recent example of traveling at home. A colleague from work, Ritika, asked me, while the entire company were out on a team dinner, if I wanted to come visit her and her husband at home at some point. I sat next to her and we talked about the differences between Danish and Indian culture. Being me and being on my above described quest, I immediately said yes while one of my colleagues looked at me in disbelief. In Denmark it is not something you just do. The border between work and private is very strong – two separate compartments. Furthermore, I didn’t actually know her that well all things considered. But this was a great chance to experience Indian culture AND get to know my colleague.
I won’t go into details of the evening but I felt very welcome – I had a beer with her husband and between him having to do work because of an emergency and her getting food ready they took turns keeping me entertained.
We talked about Holi and Diwali which are two Indian festivals and we talked about things high and low about India and Denmark and the differences (there are many!) between the two countries. It was an appartment 500metres away from my home but it still felt like traveling – traveling at home.
Oh yeah – and the food was delicious!