TRAVEL
09/25/2013 07:50 am ET

Travel To Shape Your World View

The seasoned traveler knows that seeing the world can change your perspective on everything. Experiencing other cultures, meeting new people and exploring unfamiliar places will undoubtedly shape your worldview.

These trips aren't beach vacations or family getaways, they're adventures that encourage culture shock and self-reflection. Expanding your worldview is largely based upon the worldview you already have, so experiences will invariably differ.

Check out our suggestions below and let us know what travels have shaped and expanded your view of the world.

A Developing Country

kenya huts

It may be a cliche, but visiting a third-world country will have a transformative affect on your view of the world. If you've never experienced what it's like to live without electricity, plumping and cell reception, you should. Not only is it a character-building experience, you'll never take your modern luxuries for granted again and it leaves you with a newfound respect for those who don't have them.

Suggested destinations: India; East Africa; Cuba.

Somewhere Really Old

roman forum

When you're surrounded by ancient ruins or centuries-old buildings and medieval churches, suddenly things fall into perspective. You can read historical accounts or look at pictures of places of yore, but seeing them for yourself -- walking streets that were walked hundreds of years ago, standing in buildings that stood during ancient times -- gives you a rich, unparalleled understanding of the past.

Suggested destinations: Masada, Israel; Yucatán, Mexico;Athens, Greece.

Somewhere Un-Globalized

myanmar

There are few places left that have that un-touched, un-globalized feel -- places that aren't dotted with Starbucks and McDonalds, but instead are insulated from outside influence. Going to these places is an escape from the commercialized world most of us live in and is guaranteed to put you in touch with nature and your surroundings.

Suggested destinations: Myanmar; Kiribati; Laos.

A Semester Abroad

classroom university

Immersing yourself in another culture for a semester will do wonders for your worldview. Where you go doesn't matter as much as how you go. Living with other students from your home country and partying all the time is fun and all, but you could be doing that at home. Instead, live with a host family or with local students to get the most authentic experience possible. You'll live like a local -- not a tourist -- and get to truly experience a different culture.

Suggested destinations: Anywhere you don't speak the language.

The Middle of Nowhere

secluded mountain

When you're surrounded by nature -- be it jungle, mountains, forrest or the sea -- it hits you that the world is a big and beautiful place. It puts things in perspective. Getting lost in the middle of nowhere (safely, of course) will put you in touch with the natural world and yourself.

Suggested destinations: The Amazon Rainforest; the Swiss Alps; South Africa.

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