The Urge to Compare

As I settle into my seat for my third overnight bus ride in the two weeks I’ve been in Ecuador, I try to start brainstorming what I want to say about this new country, but nothing comes. I find myself still only wanting to write about Colombia, and I can’t help comparing it to Ecuador. Didn’t Colombia seem way more developed than this? Weren’t there way less sketchy characters walking around? Is it just me or are the happy, uplifting interactions with people starting to feel fewer and further in between?

I can feel my heart is still in Colombia, so much so that I don’t even feel motivated to talk about this new place. But I know that that’s not right.

I remind myself that exploring these differences between cultures and countries is the reason why we travel, and what makes travel so thrilling, worthwhile and valuable. Being different doesn’t have to be a negative thing. The differences are what push us to keep going, to keep exploring this big, diverse, amazing world.

A good traveler will resist the urge to compare and judge, which inevitably leads to disappointment and dissatisfaction, and that’s not what travel is about.  We travel to appreciate, enjoy, and live each place for what it is; to take in the infinite uniqueness of the world.

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