One thing I’ve learned on this trip is the true meaning of adventure. Some may consider it stepping out of their comfort zone to travel to another country, but comfort can be found anywhere. True adventure comes when you immerse yourself. If you are not going to take risks and try new things, you might as well stay at home. It can be scary to greet people with kisses on the cheek, eat a food that seems unusual to you, or communicate in a foreign language even when you are not fluent. However, you can not fully appreciate another culture until you engage yourself in it. You can learn by observation, but you do not really understand until you become a part of it.
In Spain it is typical to kiss on each side of the cheek when meeting. I avoided doing this because it seemed awkward and unusual to me, until I realized that it seemed awkward and unusual to the Spanish that I wasn’t doing it. I was also afraid to speak Spanish with locals because I did not think I was good enough, but they appreciate you trying to communicate in their language rather than the other way around. Remember you are in their country, they are not in your’s. You may not think the dish placed in front of you looks appetizing in the least bit, but trying it is not going to hurt you. If you find something you do not like, at least you know (looking at you blood sausage). Even better, trying new things can lead to finding something you love (#croquetas #delicious #foodlife).
Leaving is only one step of the adventure, but actually engaging in the culture allows you to grasp the full experience. If you do not want to learn a new way of life, then home is probably the place for you. Stepping out of your comfort zone seems scary, but adventure, fun, and a deeper understanding of the world are waiting for you.