Why The Boldest Travelers Go To Places They Can't Pronounce

There are two types of people in this world: Those who travel to be comfortable, and those who travel to lose themselves -- to throw themselves into the maddening, chaotic and unknown portal of people and places; those who don’t care where they’re going or what they’re doing, just that they’re going; those who yearn to be lost.

Traveling isn’t about relaxing; it’s about growing. It’s about stretching your mind to unknown limits and unchartered ideas. It’s about being confused, uncomfortable and utterly terrified. Because that terror -- that fear and chaos -- leads to something bigger than yourself.

It leads to aberrations. And aberrations lead to acceptance. And acceptance leads to a better world. The only way to get those aberrations is to change your destination from Jamaica to Uzbekistan, to go to Belarus instead of Turks and Caicos, to go somewhere where your language isn’t an option, money is not valid and thoughts won’t be heard.

To go somewhere that changes how you feel about your place in this world -- where you are no longer the center of it.

The only way to get to this meaningful and essential place is to go somewhere new, different -- somewhere you can’t pronounce. Because those places, where you can’t properly say the name of the town, city or country, are the places that humble you.

They will invigorate, challenge and renew your stagnant soul. Don’t just take a step out of your life; take a step out of your comfort zone.

You have to find your own directions

If you can’t pronounce the place, you probably can’t speak the language. Your communication skills are as limited as your sense of direction.

This is the first step toward finding your way. You have no set path, no tourist goals in mind -- just a place to wander through, a place to get lost in, to stumble around with wrong turns and lost ways.

Getting lost is the best part of the journey

It’s only when you get lost that you can find yourself again. It takes stripping you of your current path to find a new one, to see where you want to go, not where you thought you needed to be. It’s about stumbling across people, signs and moments that change your perspective and give you a new idea of where you’re really going.

The best kinds of adventures are the ones that aren’t planned

Traveling isn’t about set times with set sights; it’s about unknown roads with strangers who can only become new friends.

It’s about losing track of time and waking up to a sunrise on another side of the world. It’s about spontaneous moments and morning walks that turn into daylong adventures.

You have to communicate through emotion, not language

The most humbling part of traveling is losing your voice. For the first time in your life, you are no longer able to communicate with the words you never thought twice about. You are a second-class citizen, an alien, a foreigner, a last thought.

You can no longer state your opinions and ideas with unfettered ease. You don’t just learn to bite your tongue -- you’re forced to. You have to find new ways to communicate, express yourself and rely on the kindness and patience of others to try and understand you.

The shock to your system will keep you alive

There’s nothing that wakes the mind and jolts the soul more than throwing yourself into another world. Like a pulse of electricity to a stagnant heartbeat, you’re brought back to life.

The new tastes, fears and anxieties don’t just humble you, but reinvigorate you. You’re brought back to life by being brought back down to it. You’re no longer the center of the universe, but part of it.

There’s no pretending

You can't pronounce the name of the city any more than you can pronounce your thoughts about it. There’s no faking in these parts of the world. You can’t dance your way through with learned grace and impressive social skills. You’re an alien.

You don’t know the language any more than you know the daily customs and pleasantries. Those skills and tricks that got you through any party, encounter or circumstance are no loner valid. You’re as transparent as the passport you hold.

You’re guaranteed to learn something

You won’t just be lounging on a beach for five days, but trying to find it. You’ll learn new words, new customs and new ways of communicating. You’ll learn the capital of a country people have never heard of and the currency of a place others can’t pronounce.

You’ll find strength in yourself that you didn’t know you had. You’ll find that if you can make it there, find your way on roads with signs you can’t read and people you can’t communicate with, you’ll never be lost again.