A bit of pontificating from Dr. Klint
One of the perks of traveling is the chance to improve your communication skills. I’ve been forced to use my German twice this week in communicating with others who spoke no English in Spain and Morocco. It was tough trying to recall certain vocabulary and proper word endings, but I got by okay: we were able to communicate.
I also got a lot of practice with my bartering skills in Marrakech (I am sitting in Marrakech’s airport now) and am pleased to report for the first time in quite a while, I did not get taken advantage of. I’d like to say I took advantage of the sellers, but I am sure they still made a healthy profit from my purchases. But looking back at the mistakes I made in Turkey, Egypt, and Palestine I must say that I am getting much better at bartering. It could be that prices are just cheaper in Morocco, but they started higher than Egypt (for example) and I never paid more than I wanted for a nice assortment of knock-off watches, pens, sunglasses, and bags that make perfect gifts back home.
Here’s my point: aside from the frequent flyer aspect of traveling, you can often find yourself (depending on the destination) in a place where you are forced to come out of your comfort zone and meet others halfway just to communicate. Practicing that is a valuable life skill that will help you in all areas of life. So go travel!