From the U.S. to Spain – how travelling has helped me broaden my mind. (4)

by Justyna KOŚCIÓŁEK (1995), LOK Kraków/Poland

Nowadays, we don’t have any problems with moving around. We can freely travel between cities and even countries. Journeys give us an opportunity not only for recreation but it also has a high educational value.

That’s why I, when I was a child, I had an opportunity to go to the US. At that time my grandparents lived there so I visited them. I spent more than two months (whole vacation)  in Chicago. Being abroad, we get to know other cultures and habits. During my stay there, I had to adopt to a diffrent lifestyle.

I with my Indian friend !

An average day in a U.S. city is completely different than one in my country. As a small girl, I tried to understand every new thing I met and found out about. I was meeting various children. One day, by the lake, I got to know Indian children, and I spent a great time with them what helped me learn that in the world there aren’t only “white” people. And now I don’t agree with negative opinions about these people because I had contact with them.

I can’t deny that travelling also teaches how to cope in an unknown environment. The biggest advantage, for me, is absolutely the fact that it helped me to become independent even though I was just a child.

Mallorcan countrysides.

My second trip I remember best, is my last journey to Spain, Mallorca. Because of the fact that I was older than during the trip to U.S., I could better understand new things around me. The people  I was meeting were so courteous and explained to me a lot of things I didn’t understand – starting from when we should say “Buenos dias” and when “Buenas tardes” ending in habits or traditions of the Spanish. I’d say that the stay in Paguera (South Mallorca) taught me some patience. Why? Maybe I’ll give an example: when you wait for a bus, you must be patient because a bus-driver, even if there are seats in the bus, doesn’t always stop, so you have to wait for the next bus (and also it’s not sure that the next one will stop). After visiting Spain, I felt in love with  this country and I plan to go there again next summer holidays to spend more time there. That’s why I started to learn Spanish (myself at home, of course in  my free time).


To sum up, travelling and visiting new, before unknown places, is definitely a good way to develop ourselves. It can help us  look at life from different perspective and understand things which we weren’t able to understand. Sometimes, I’m a good example of it, it encourages us to try completely new things (for me it’s learning Spanish). It’s also an opportunity to improve our skills we already have, such as foreign languages.

And how about you? Did you take any journeys which changed your life or influence on your development ?

5 Responses to “From the U.S. to Spain – how travelling has helped me broaden my mind. (4)”

  1. Hi Anna,
    Of course, travelling helps us to get rid of prejudices, but unfortunately not everyone is able to do it and that’s sad. Apart from it, you’re right , it’s a great life experience.
    Wow, 6 months ? I’d really like to stay with my host family for so long. Then you can explore their culture, traditions and habits more. Obviously, it’s true what you mentioned that during a stay in a foreign country you can find out more about yourself.
    Yes, communication in a foreign language is the main problem. I know what you mean. When I visited my host family everyone was so helpful and friendly, and it was really nice of them and now I try to keep in touch with them. So, as you already mentioned, definitely travelling enables us to make new friends in the whole world. :)


  2. Dear Zivile,
    I’m sure that you will have more opportunities to adventure a long, exotic journey. In Estonia and Latvia ? When were you there ? Did you visit these countries with your family or as a part of a school exchange? I’ve always wanted to spend a little time in Eastern Europe because I usually travel to western and southern Europe (e.g. Spain, Italy), so unfortunately I wasn’t lucky to meet people from either Estonia or Latvia and find out more about their culture. Since you got interested in other races, countries and continents, I’m sure it’s a good starting point for your future exciting journeys.
    Best wishes,

  3. Hello (:

    I agree with the others, as I think, what you have pointed out in your article, is completely true. Traveling can help us so much to broaden our minds and to learn new things. Especially when it comes to foreign languages you should always travel to a country where that language is spoken, because by talking to native speakers you can learn a lot more than by just practicing at school.

    I also stayed in France as an exchange student, like Anna Brandl did. I even stayed there for an entire year and the experiences I made really changed my life. Furthermore I have learned to speak French fluently by talking to my host family, my classmates and others. But this is not the only advantage that a year as an exchange student might have, as in addition to the languages, I learned a lot about another culture, about the French habits and traditions as well as about their writers and painters.

    As Anna said, staying in another country also helps you to learn something about yourself, because you have to face new challenges and problems. You will also surpass yourself, because when you do not speak the language and you find yourself facing a problem, there is no other possibility but to communicate with others even if you are shy. Therefore spending some time abroad can help you to develop your own personality.

    All in all, I really like your article because it shows what kinds of positive effects traveling can have on us. Furthermore, I would highly recommend everybody who has the chance to do so, to spend some time in a foreign country.

  4. I like your article and I envy you so much¡ It’s a pity that I cannot discuss, because I have never had any long exotic journey. I have been in Estonia, in Latvia, but I didn’t meet any special people who could change me in some way. And I was there just for a week so I didn’t have a good choice to know these people. I just thought that people aren’t different, and the only barrier between us is language. And your article stimulates me to find out more about differences among races, countries and continents.

  5. I would like to congratulate you for your article and I can just agree to what you have mentioned. Traveling definitely changes your view of other nations and cultures, makes you more open-minded and helps against prejudices. I think that it is extremely interesting to get in touch with new people and different traditions and cultures.
    Last year I stayed in France for nearly 6 months with a host family and it was just an extraordinary experience that I would not like to miss. I did not just learn so much about the French country and language but also about me too. Even if I had language problems at the beginning, everybody just tried to help me. In my time in France I recognized that even if we live in different countries we are not that different. I really enjoyed my time there (like you probably did in the USA and in Spain) and now I have some real good friends there. So traveling definitely broadens someone’s mind!