Coming back home: A Harsh Reality

Coming homeI’ve been back home for a couple of months now and I’m currently going through another huge transitional period in my life. Since I have so much time to think about how I’m going to conquer this next chapter of my life. I’ve had time to take a step back and observe more about my surroundings while trying to make sense of it all. A lot of things have changed but at the same time, it’s all the same. Maybe I just never noticed or cared too much because I was busy with my own life and my own problems. Coming back home is hard. And it’s a reality I need to face. 

I think the thing that has bothered me the most since my return, is the lack of respect we have for one another. So I wanted to talk about what’s really going on. Where has our self-respect or common decency gone? What expectations do we have about this and how far away is that from our reality?

Traveling has given me a new perspective on the human interaction. It’s incredible how similar we really are, yet we put these labels on each other that just self-segregate ourselves with other people who think the same. How do you evolve and grow when you’re not challenging your fears or things you don’t understand?

Yes, I understand that there is history that says something different but we are in the present. Look at the people in front of you. You are just changing the language, food, and level of sense of humor. I know you might say, “Andrea it’s not that simple”, but in a way it really is. It doesn’t matter how our culture defines us, or how our religion dictates our behavior, we still smile when someone smiles at you. Respect is universal. There is a healthy way to have differences of opinion without insults and injury.

I’ve had light heart conversations with the people I’ve meet all over the world and I’ve also have had deep philosophical conversations that have moved me to the core of who I am. I don’t want to sugarcoat things and say that every interaction I’ve had in the past 7 years of traveling have been amazing because they definitely were not. I did, however, learn something from each conversation, even if it was something little. I carry that with me every day and try to pass those messages I’ve learned along to others.

I want to encourage you to also take a step back. Just take a moment to think about the daily interactions you have in your life and evaluate how far away your expectations are from your reality when it comes to respecting one another. Remember that respect is a two-way street. That’s why I always say you have to give good to get good.

Are you prepared to have a healthy discussion/debate with someone who genuinely wants to understand your belief system and are you open to hearing something that’s different than yours?

Are you capable of finding a middle ground?

That to me is respecting one another. That to me is moving forward. That to me means growth. Everyone has different likes and has a way to define “fun”, “the right way” or “the wrong way” completely different than the way you do. My “normal” is different than yours is and that’s totally OK. Even when you’re traveling with a group of people to the same place, their experiences in a certain place can be completely different than yours. It’s impossible to please everyone. Flexibility, life is not all-black-and-white. We also need to remember that.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to have these healthy conversations, question the things you believe in, question the people in your life or with a complete stranger instead of brushing it off and leaving it for another day. That day will never come.

Challenge yourself.

Respect one another.

Smile more.

Remember when you give good, you get good.


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