They said traveling was gratifying…. (My experience on traveling to the other side of the world)

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
So June 2, 2017 my bestfriend woke me up telling me we were going to Europe in 13 days. EUROPE FOR THE FIRST TIME. That was my dream trip since years ago and I couldn’t believe it was going to come true and within days. So I started to try to prepare myself mentally for the trip as I had no knowledge of the  flight details nor the places I was going to visit. 3 days before the departure I got the flight details, we were departing from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia and then we would arrive in Amsterdam. The day was here and we were really excited to do our dream trip together so we boarded into a 13hr trip and finally landed in Amsterdam. As I left the plane and stepped in the airport I could feel everything was different. I come from the Caribbean where all you see are friendly faces, almost everyone will smile at you without knowing you and any town you go you will feel welcomed. So when I started to look at the people, to watch the body language, to see how people interacted with each other I can’t use any other phrase than “Mind-Blowing”; I felt completely foreign. After leaving the airport and on our way to the hotel I was very stunned in so many ways. I couldn’t understand what people were mumbling between each other, I couldn’t understand the signs at the street, I didn’t see much of American franchises around so the first feeling I got was me being out of place; without mentioning that I’m a dark skin latina with curly hair and there were almost NO dark skin people around so I caught a lot of attention. Also there was a 6 hour difference between Puerto Rico and Amsterdam so you can imagine the huge Jetlag I had at the moment. We stayed in a hotel called NH Collections that was right next to the Red Light District (from now on R.L.D). After a nap to recover a bit from the Jetlag and from the confusion we walked through R.L.D. First of all as most of you know the weed is legal in Amsterdam so watching people freely smoke weed in the streets was really awkward but not as awkward as it’s about to get. There were sex shops all around, and there were theaters to watch LIVE SEX… I was completely shocked by how liberal these people were and how huge the difference was, not even in Vegas have I seen something like that before. After a bit of this background story I can proceed to tell you how my perspective of traveling changed. I always did domestic flights (USA) so I never got the chance to see a completely different culture before and this was one of the best experiences so far, when you get to places where you feel like a drop of oil in an ocean you have the chance to open your mind and understand the world and the people that live in it; you are able to accept diversity and love different cultures, you even have the chance to feel, to believe and to accept that you are one and only in this planet and finally to respect others the way they are. My perspective of traveling changed as I don’t think anymore of traveling only because of the places, but because of cultures and to get to know different people on each trip. They said traveling was gratifying… and it absolutely is.

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