Entertaining my little cousins is one of my favorite things in the world. Children are fascinating: witty, smart, playful, and thirsty for knowledge. They are not afraid to interact with the world, you can learn a lot from kids.
In his book Mastery, Robert Greene proposes that masters are individuals who managed to revert back to this blank open state of mind while retaining their expertise and their ability to focus.
I am convinced traveling is the surest way to come back to this childlike state.
A good traveler’s mindset is similar to that of a child: no preconception of good or bad, just an open mind and a bottomless fascination for the world and its people.
Landing in a new foreign country is a rebirth. You’re a new born faced with an environment you know barely anything about, and your survival depends on your capacity to be flexible and quickly adapt. You mumble words you learned on the go to buy food, or you just use your body language to be understood - just like a kid.
Of course, you can still identify common patterns across countries making the transition easier. Even though the culture remains different, we all share the same natural needs for food, sleep, and love - which is why you don’t spend 10 years acquiring the basics, as a child would. It doesn’t mean there is nothing to learn: your way of doing things to satisfy those needs is no superior than the local ones. You have to scratch the surface of the postal card to unearth the true beauty of the destination you’re in.