I was long fascinated with Asia as a child and as an adult, I knew it was unique to chose to study abroad there over Europe. People who chose Europe seemed to be lacking in imagination and originality to me and to be following the herd in a sheepish mentality. To me, it showed ignorance of the changes in the world to chose Europe over Asia. The bulk of the world’s economic growth is occurring in Asia. Furthermore, the world’s highest educational standards are in South Korea and then Singapore follows in second place.
I also do believe many cities in Europe have famous icons that became cliches, such as Big Ben, the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower and the I am Amsterdam sign.Icons are important for being a recognizable symbol, but annoying for being so repetitive that they become banal and unoriginal. Naturally, Asia has many icons itself, such as the Great Wall of China, Mt. Fuji and the Taj Mahal. Singapore Sands Hotel is a modern icon and symbol of Singapore.
When I traveled to Europe by myself in 2014, I wanted to go to more unique places like Portugal and Norway that often get scraped from the typical traveler’s itinerary. The more I explored on my own, the more I learned there were countless destinations in Europe that are exquisite and do not get the acclaim that other destinations get.
Locorontondo, Puglia, Italy has charming winding streets:
St. Paul de Vence, France is a charming town many have never heard of:
When I began traveling, I had curiosity about the world’s economic growth and changes. I was unhappy in Shanghai because it is polluted, crowded and difficult to live in. There is more to travel than intellectual curiosity and economic trends. There is a lot of joy and excitement in seeing a truly beautiful, and well-organized city like the two above. There is an element that goes beyond economic activity that excites me and makes me wonder.
I think most people go to the same old cities in Europe mostly because of a lack of imagination. I think the second most compelling reason is a lack of funds. When you know you are only going to be able to afford to travel once in a lifetime, you tend to pick the most popular destinations. However, when you have enough privilege to see the world more than once, you are in a position to be more unique and go off the beaten path. For this reason, most people would not elect to see St. Paul de Vence over Paris or Puglia over Florence. The more privilege you have, the more unique and interesting you can be while picking a place to travel to.
There is just a special feeling about picking a place not everyone picks or gets to see. A unique trait of being human is that we are aware of our uniqueness and want to stand out from other people. Despite a herd mentality, all people are proud of their individuality and do not want to conform exactly to other people. For example, we buy different clothing brands, wear different smelling perfumes, eat different foods and pick different places to travel to and different airlines to travel with. Being unique while traveling is another way to differentiate ourselves from others and celebrate our uniqueness.
One of the biggest themes with my blog is helping my readers pick a place to travel to. When I began traveling, I was faced with the dilemma of not knowing where to travel to. I had so many destinations I dreamed of and did not even know why I wanted to travel. I always recommend my readers to pick a unique place because it will be more rewarding, eye-opening and challenging to pick an obscure destination. They will get more out of the trip that way and have less regrets.