I'm generally an accepting, open minded, and easy going person. I generally only have three qualms with this world: dishonesty, littering, and stereotypes.
Whether it's assumptions about people, places, or things, stereotypes often encourage distaste and disrespect before any authentic familiarity. I'm sorry I'm not sorry for having such little patience with such tragedies.
You see, if I were to have trusted the belief that all French people are rude, I would've never have been willing to host a French exchange student in high school. Or have the desire to visit my French best friend while in college. Or have studied the language, lived abroad in Strasbourg, and fallen in love with French wines and cheeses. How unfortunate that would have been!
And that's only one example. With or without preconceived notions, I've come to believe that chances are meant to be taken... and they're a whole lot easier to take when you allow yourself the opportunity of endless possibilities.
For instance, I wouldn't have known I disliked wild boar if I hadn't tasted it. Nor would I have known how quite much I adored arugula. Now I know with certainty.
We limit ourselves with negative expectations. Sure, it may be risky, but I've been known to purposefully not research places pre-travel for this very reason.
Because we deserve the eye-opening experience of impressions, surprise, enchantment. It's scary sometimes, but for me, it's always been worth it.
If you stop thinking about all of the things that could go wrong, you can start thinking of all the things that can go right. And with optimism like that, you never know when you'll discover a new passion, another amazing guy, or a phenomenal restaurant in an unexpected place. That's what living is all about.
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