As you know, this summer has become quite the adventure for me (and those close to me who have experienced it with me). I’ve traveled to new places, done new things, tried new foods, and met new people, I have learned so much about myself, my family, my friends, and just how priceless our time is.

Recently I visited Montreal for the first time (actually, it was my first time outside of the country…except for Mexico, but does that actually count for a San Diego, CA native?).

Quite literally, the second we got to the Canadian border (by car), I realized just how much I haven’t experienced!

“…Um? Bonjour!?”

As the weekend played its course, I realized how large this earth is. Transplanted to a culture of politeness, etiquette, and the acceptance of just how different we are all, I just sat back and reflected on how society has crippled the idea of being different.

I remember taking a course back in college where we talked about society’s view on beauty, and how as a society, it is not who stands out the most, but who is closest to “normal”.

To most, “different” scares us. We’re comfortable and safe in our bubble, and have no desire to venture out from it. We stay in the same city all our life, we scour at others who wear attire that doesn’t fit with ours, and we judge people before caring to understand them.

When walking through the streets of Montreal full of festivals, life size chess games, and some of the best food in the world, you cannot help but take in its welcoming acceptance for all walks of life. People are not afraid to bring out their imperfections and differences. I’m sure people have different views and experiences when traveling, but for me, seeing this difference in culture was refreshing.

It’s a living collage of cultural differences.

Instead of forcing others to break down our proverbial walls, let’s start with the door open and invite them in to amaze us.

“We believe that differences should enrich us rather than divide us.”

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