Playa Blanca’s port in Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Stating that “traveling opens your mind” or that it“increases your perspectives” sounds a bit cliché and you’ve probably heard that multiple times. Instead, I find it more interesting to tell you how this process can take place while you’re traveling. For example, in a random moment like embarking on a ferry, while I wasn’t actively in search of any specific experience.
I propose you below an old post of mine from my personal Facebook wall. At that time I was in the Canary Islands looking for a job as a Kite instructor for the upcoming summer season.
“I’m in Lanzarote, I get off the bus that drops me at the little port of Playa Blanca where soon I will take the ferry to Fuerteventura. Together with me descends a girl dressed in what looks like a typical African dress. I help her to download the luggage from the hold of the bus, leaving everything on the ground. She speaks just a little Spanish but continues to point out to her bag. I try to explain that I’m sorry but I’m overloaded and I can not help: I already have a backpack, a suitcase and a boardbag stuffed with 27kg of equipment. But she, who in the meantime has put on her head a hat made of the same fabric of the dress, now points at her head. She just wanted me to load her suitcase on the head. You never stop learning”.
Carrying things on the head lying on a headdress, is still a common practice in many parts of the world, especially in rural societies. It was also in Italy, my home country, particularly on the island of Sardinia and in Abruzzo region. But from my Western perspective, I was simply assuming that the girl was asking me to carry that weight in her place, as would commonly do an old lady climbing up the stairs or a girl hopping on a train. I would have never expected to have to load him it here head…
Here’s an example of how traveling can increase your perspectives, when you least expect it.
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Credits: Cover: Nick Fewings, Port: "Ciao Canary Islands".