Last week, I gave you all some reasons… some in-depth reasons, as to why you should live what I call a “global life.” To recap, these reasons included:
- Intercultural Communication Skills
- A Reduction of (Implicit) Bias
- Enhanced Creativity
So now that you know why you should live a global life, you might be saying, “Cool, I’m sold. But uh, where do I start?”
Here’s some ideas, in no particular order.
Learn a new language.
I know what some of you must be thinking, “Learning a new language is hard!” or “I took Spanish/French classes for years and still can’t speak it!”
Take a deep breath. It’s okay! Language doesn’t come easy to anyone, you just gotta find methods that work for you and number one, Don’t take it so seriously. You’re going to embarass yourself. You’re gonna go to a bakery and stammer in Brazilian Portuguese for some French penis when you really just want some French bread. It happens!
That being said, the workout your brain gets trying to put new words to old and new concepts is fascinating, and it’s eye opening. Your thinking expands (in English you are hungry, in Spanish that makes no sense, hunger is something you have – it’s basic differences like this that make you more aware of how you already think). Give it a go, and if you happen to get even remotely okay at another language, the literal world is your well-seasoned oyster (do you put seasoning on an oyster? I haven’t eaten one in forever and don’t remember!).
Watch some TV.
Growing up, I watched a lot of IFC, the Independent Film Channel. IFC not only aired independent films, but they also aired a lot of international films, and it’s how I ended up watching utter classics like the Japanese anime Akira (one of the most significant animated films of all time), the ever-so-quaint French film Amelie (which has since become a musical), and the utterly brutal Mexican film Amores Perros (I also saw Y Tu Mamá También way before I was mature enough to understand it, but that’s another story for another day!). Point being, I saw a lot of stories from all over the world, and I didn’t have to go anywhere to see them.
Seeing stories told by the perspectives of their owners is very important when setting out to learn more about another culture, country, religion, or other group. It’s one thing to watch a movie or television show about cats as written by dogs, it’s another to see cats tell their own stories. This is why film and television are so important. Not only are you witnessing another world from the perspective of those who live in it, as in films like the Saudi Arabian and female-directed Wadjda, but it’s also opening you to a world of new humor, new perspectives, different languages, and new methods of storytelling.
I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for shows like the Brazilian 3%, a sci-fi show with a dystopia rooted in present-day society that I practice my listening skills with, or if I had never gotten acquaited with Nollywood classics like, Princess Tyra (I still have that theme song stuck in my head). Trust me, you need the humor, you need the drama, you need the language practice – go head and watch some tv.
Play some music.
This one is pretty damn powerful, and it should be handled with care. I don’t think I ever recovered after I got ensnared into K-pop,
let alone Samba,
and don’t get me started with Bollywood soundtracks.
If you’re trying to learn a new language, this is a super useful thing to do. Ek Do Teen is a quick rundown on numbers, and putting vocabulary to music makes things that much easier to remember. If you find some genres or artists you like, you might dive headfirst into the cultures that brought that music to the forefront. Next thing you know, you’re in Brazil dancing belly to belly samba. I’m just saying, it happens.
Eat some foooooooooood.
I’m from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, so for the most part, I grew up with apples, oranges, and bananas. The moment I stepped foot in Japan and met taro, I knew something was up…. something was…..unusual.
I wouldn’t come to appreciate taro for yearssss, YEARSSSS of denying myself taro, are you kidding me? Then I’d meet mango, which was life-changing, and then oh my God how could I forget coconut water?????
I almost never knew coconut water? What a travesty.
But even then, I got distracted. New cuisines are fun, exciting, and challenging. And not only do they give you a peek at how people eat, but it can also give you an overview of history. You can enjoy General Tso’s Chicken, or you can appreciate General Tso’s Chicken, while also knowing the quite unusual story of it. More food, more appreciation – these ain’t bad things!
So there you go, some ways to expand your world without moving an inch. Do you have any ideas for how to live your best global life? Lemme know what you think!