So needless to say any type of globe trotting certainly contains some forms of self exploration no matter if you consider yourself a traveller or a tourist. Questions are raised such as how do I connect to my own history, my own culture, my own country?
Traveling to various countries gives us varying examples of the depth of connection we find ourselves experiencing. Quite obviously much of this comes from the way we project ourselves and our personality traits dictate this. Prior context of learning and experiences that create who we are are sometimes referred to as schemas.
The role I play in my home environments are set in motion via the social norms I find acceptable, and expectations I have in various contexts. Travelling to other countries I carry these expectations with me. Nishida (1999) p766, discusses that most impressions are initially schema based and can be felt as non-intimate. Finding myself in this situation in a new country makes me explore the depth of the way I project myself. I have discovered an aspect of myself that holds back and observes my surroundings. I feel a need to establish a trust with those around me, which to some may not be a social norm.
At an inter-cultural level, I have to ask myself how my reaction and quiet approach may be observed? How many of my prior experiences are limiting the experiences I might have? But then how many of my schemas are guiding me, and allowing me to see what others may not? Every experience is an opportunity and by letting others guide my experience and taking on board many perspectives so much within me can be expanded.
Do yet others guide your experience when you travel, or do you choose to follow the set agenda as there is so much to see and explore?
What is your perspective?
Nishida H, 1999, 'A cognitive approach to inter cultural communication based on schema theory', Elssevier Science, vol.23, no.5, pp. 753-777.