The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page
Every time I fly solo: picking up my luggage, flying halfway around the world alone is almost always a daunting task for me. I have the same worries just as with almost everyone else: safety, friends, and loneliness.
You Build Situational Confidence and Learn to Communicate Better
I remembered getting on the metro for the first time in Los Angeles. There were a variety of races from Mexicans, Caucasians, and blacks all in one metro cabin. I was the only Asian on board, and that was certainly uncomforting, to say the least.
I got semi-paranoid. The majority of the countries I’ve been to don’t legalise guns. However, in America, guns are legal. I got semi-paranoid when walking the streets, taking the metro at night, and had to be a lot more aware of my surroundings when getting from one place to another.
Of course, many of the fears were unfounded.
The spoken (and written I guess) American English is much better than Singaporean English. Back home in Singapore, we tend to speak in broken sentences and mix in other languages from Chinese to Hokkien in our English.
For the first time, I felt insecure about my command of English. It’s hard not to notice the subtleties when conversing with a caucasian whose English is crisped with clear pronunciation. It’s also hard not to notice that I found myself adopting a western accent rather than staying with the Singaporean one.
Stressing on getting your English pronunciation right serves you well when you travel or in general. You come off as educated, sophisticated, and a better conversationalist in general.
I also found myself feeling far less confident when interacting with women from Western Cultures.
And tend to stammer with my weird Singaporean accents dripping through. I guess the typical Asian stereotypes played a role in my insecurity as well. Not to beat myself too much, there were a couple of situations that I overcame and had great interactions with.
As I chalk up my travel experiences, there’s something I realized. The touristy landmarks, the mountains, the cities, there are almost similar in major cities around the world.
Going to the Taroko Georges in Taiwan is somewhat similar to climbing Mount Fuji in Japan. They all kind of look and feel the same after a while.
When you’ve been to one of them, the next land work doesn’t make a huge difference. You experience diminishing returns of experience.
I found myself less invested in going to museums, the run-of-the-mill touristy landmarks.
Interestingly, I started paying attention to eating local food for the first time in my life. When back home, going out to nice restaurants wasn’t that much of a big deal to me.
I don’t really go around chasing food like many Singaporeans are notoriously guilty of.
I ended up paying good money for a good meal in an Indian restaurant in San Francisco and a meal along Santa Monica beach in Los Angeles.
Whenever I live abroad for extended periods of time, I’m forced into a state of self-reliance and independence. The foreign currency, language, culture, and doing laundry on my own.
For some inane reason, I always felt I was more motivated, sharper when I’m living on my own.
When I was in New York, I rented out a crappy AirBnB apartment on a shoestring budget. Yet, I still manage to land a couple of dates.
This simply means if you need a kick in the butt in this whole attracting women thing… then move out. It’ll do you wonders.
You may not be acting in a motivated manner when you’re reliant on your parents providing a roof over your head. That’s because if you’re relying on your parents financially, you don’t want to piss off your parents.
Hence, you hesitate from bringing that partner home and may self-sabotage yourself on first dates.
In some cultures such as the Singapore culture, it is a cultural norm for both guys and girls to stay with their parents till they are married before moving out. I personally believe both sexes should experience some form of independence before committing to a long-term relationship.
I’m sure moving out is also beneficial in your dating life.
For the guys that have strict parents that shame you for bringing a woman home, you now got your own room. You’ll also act independently from your parent’s judgment and presence.
In that sense, Singaporeans are spoilt. In Western cultures, kids move out from the age of 18 and are expected to be financially self-sufficient when they graduate. In Singapore, you’re allowed to stay with your parents till you’re married.
I personally believe that if you suck at women. More often than not, it can stem from your relationship with your parents.
Moving out can give you the independence that you need away from the eyes and judgment of your parents.
Travel does give you a perspective on economics in different cultures. You get to see the effects of economics, varying standards of living, and the day-to-day lives of people in different cultures.
I started taking solo trips out to Asia and then branching out to the rest of the world from 19 years of age and credit a lot of my independence and growth as a person to my solo travels over the last half-decade.
Travel has helped me a lot.
Pushing my boundaries in country after country, year after year has helped me in my confidence in my relationships. Every time I land back home in Changi airport, Singapore’s international airport. The infrastructure, the cleanliness of it all hits me immediately. It’s back to routine after all that novelty… some feelings remain and some change indefinitely.
Marcus Neo enjoys writing about dating, relationships, business, and psychology. Partially didactic. Forced to learn SEO, recently picked up basic Java. Likes martial arts and music, but never got around to the latter.