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Adaptability While Traveling

Adaptability While Traveling

When you travel, you discover wonderful places, experience adventures and collect a lot of unforgettable moments. Incidentally, formative experiences strengthen your personality - you acquire  soft skills  that are relevant for your future job, for example.

In this article we take a closer look at adaptability: How are travel and adaptability related? We explain this to you with some personal stories from the Backpacker Tribe. Get ready for exciting stories! 

Adaptability

Why is adaptability so important? Quite simply: the world does not function without adaptability. In many everyday moments - be it in the private sphere or in the working world - it is essential to adapt to the habits and structures of other people or groups.

You learn the basics of this skill from a young age when interacting with other children – especially children who are different from you. Who follow different cultures or follow different religions, who have a different skin color or maybe love differently than you. A harmonious coexistence only works if both sides meet with openness and respect and adapt to each other to a certain extent. 

Traveling to distant, unknown lands you learn to strengthen this ability like probably at no other moment in life. You are constantly confronted with foreign languages, cultures and religions, foreign habits and lifestyles. Because what's the saying? Other countries other manners. 

The ability to adapt begins with discarding stereotypical ideas and meeting people openly. You are at home in your usual environment, and you probably share similar ideas and ways of life as your fellow human beings. When traveling you are the guest, the stranger or the foreigner. A certain adjustment is now inevitable for you. 

In this article we will take you on a trip to Jordan, a trip to Sri Lanka and a trip to Japan and tell you about our personal experiences. 

Jordan – an encounter of a different kind

The first story takes place in  Jordan . The majority of the inhabitants of the Arab state profess the faith of Islam. It functions as the state religion and an important part of the culture. Jordan is actually considered a very hospitable and generous country. However, when we think of Jordan, stigmatized images of a dangerous, terrorist country often prevail. 

Our founder Fabio and our social media manager Maira were traveling in Jordan. The two wanted to pick up a rental car. After just a few minutes, they realized that nothing works here like they knew it from Germany. So they found out: In Jordan it is normal to wait 2 hours for the car - contrary to German punctuality.

They decided together to shed their habits and expectations and to fully engage with the realities of the country. They knew: We are now the foreigners. We want to get to know this country, its way of life and ideas, and that only works if we adapt to a certain extent. 

Then the journey started north. They saw armed men on the side of the streets. Fear rose immediately. They thought: Where are we here? Are we surrounded by cruel terrorists? The media keeps showing terrible pictures. Suddenly, a passport control approached. More fear welled up, especially in Maira's mind. what happens to us now

Arriving at passport control, they met the officials with respect and openness and it came back, so to speak. The officials warmly welcomed them and wished them a safe journey.

They wanted to travel and get to know this country from the start, but then had stereotypical thoughts when they got there – towards the country, the people and their behavior. So that first day became a kind of key moment to consciously discard and reject stigmas. 

One evening this realization was confirmed with another special encounter. Maira and Fabio stayed in a permanent tent in the desert. The owner was Muslim. At the campfire they immersed themselves in an intensive and exciting conversation about the different world religions - this was only possible because of mutual openness and tolerance. 

Maira described it in one of our conversations: The experiences on the journey through Jordan were a kind of key moment in her life. They encountered the Jordanian culture and the conditions of the country, dealt with it openly and respectfully and learned how to adapt to it almost automatically.

Sri Lanka - a feast of a different kind

We are now taking you to the wonderful island of  Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka is one of the most religious countries in the world and strongly influenced by Buddhism. The locals therefore follow a number of religious customs and rules of respect and courtesy. 

The special respect applies above all to Buddha statues and Buddhist monks. At the same time, the people of Sri Lanka are also considered to be one of the most hospitable people, provided you respect their rules and customs.

Our social media intern Clara and her good friend stayed in a private Airbnb in a small village for a few days. The landlords were right next door. At first they kept their distance from each other. The cultures and the behavior seemed very foreign to them. What should they do?

At this point, the two girls had been in Sri Lanka for a few weeks. They had dealt with the Sri Lankan culture and always treated the landlords with respect and openness. 

In a way, they tried to adapt to the lifestyle and cultural ideas of the landlords. Gradually they got closer until the girls were even invited to dinner. 

Sinhalese cuisine is very special and is based on Indian, Arabic, Portuguese and Dutch cuisine. The evening together was not only delicious and fun, but also extremely exciting. Clara and her friend learned a lot more about the culture and the way of life in Sri Lanka. That evening they began to feel the culture. They still like to remember and maintain constant contact with their Sinhalese landlords. 

Japan – a different kind of experience

We are now traveling with our French translator Fanny and her husband to a small restaurant in  Japan . Japan is known as the land of the rising sun. It is extremely diverse and rich in cultural traditions. The Japanese are religious, but feel very free and are attracted to different religions. Politeness in particular is very important – you should keep this rule of conduct in mind when you visit.

The entire menu of the place was written in Japanese. They politely asked another couple at the next table for help and struck up a conversation. They were curious about the Japanese specialties and followed the recommendations. After dinner, the Japanese couple invited her to continue the evening with them at a karaoke bar. Because Japan is the homeland of karaoke.

They were a little skeptical at first - singing karaoke wasn't exactly one of their everyday pastimes. But in the end they agreed. After all, they didn't just want to get to know the outside of the country, but also the culture and ways of life. 

The evening developed into a very special highlight of the trip. And that was only because they fully embraced and assimilated into Japanese culture. The other man spoke only Japanese, but with the music they all got along - "we all sang together and it was wonderful!" 

Once again it becomes clear: It is important to get involved with other cultures and habits. If you behave accordingly and adapt to certain things, people will open up to you. You can learn a lot, really experience a foreign culture and have just as much fun. Don't miss any of these unique moments!

Conclusion

Embracing new things and adapting to the unknown brings you closer to a culture and also strengthens your personality - especially your adaptability. Use the opportunity of traveling to meet different circumstances, ways of life and ideas. If you meet them with openness, respect and tolerance, your ability to adapt will be strengthened by itself. 

Another benefit: You are able to deal with various people and groups. This quality will certainly benefit you on your private and professional path.

The egocentric competence of a manager loses importance in the working world. Instead, the ability to adapt is increasingly in demand and perceived as a tremendous strength. Adaptability is a special art that brings success in all areas of life! 

Rudolfus Kikkert
Rudolfus Kikkert Interest In City Tourism

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