"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
- Mark Twain
Twain makes travel sound pretty good, but even this icon of American literature left out an additional benefit of travel: It shows you just how capable you are when faced with adversity. Whether you’re climbing mountains, buying lunch in a foreign city, or taking an Antarctic cruise, you’re not only learning more about the world and the people in it, you’re learning about yourself.
Here are five Arctic-inspired realizations you might make about the person you travel with most.
You don’t have to be scared
A trip to the Antarctic can sound overwhelming. Cruise lines, however, will do everything they can to make the process as easy as possible. Antarctic cruise companies will generally help you with travel insurance, reaching the embarkation point, and telling you what clothing you should bring.
For these reasons, booking an Antarctic adventure is well within your abilities – even if you’ve never gone on a real expedition-style trip before.
Everyone has a “far away”
Antarctic cruises are full of people from around the world. Some naturally live closer to Antarctica than others, but arriving via cruise ship puts everybody on the same level. Nobody will be more of an Antarctic native than you, even people who’ve been cruising the polar regions for decades.
Also, though there may be times you need help during an Antarctic cruise, there will also be times your particular life experiences can help someone else. Assisting other passengers in need can serve to remind you of your own strengths.
You learn what’s important to you
When you’re away from the people and places that usually occupy your life, you realize what you’re truly missing by going away.
Generally speaking, loved ones will probably be at the top of this list of missed things. And if you’re lucky, your job or a much-enjoyed hobby might appear next. As you move down the list, though, you may start to unmask things that are simply stressful clutter in your life.
You don’t need stuff
Stuff can be nice, stuff can be fun. But when you have to pack for an Antarctic trip, the difference between what is necessary and what is excessive becomes all the clearer. You may find the essentials are more than enough to keep you happy when life itself is exciting.
You can slow time – sort of
As we get older, time seems to gain speed. Ask someone in their 50s about the past ten years and they’ll say they flew by, but ask a child about the past school day and they’ll say it took forever.
There’s actually science behind these varied perceptions: New experiences stand out in our minds, while routine ones tend to blur together. These new experiences, by consequence, often give us the sense of having spent more time doing them. And since an Antarctic cruise is an experience far outside the routine for almost everybody, why not hop aboard one and live a longer, fuller life?