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6 Ways to Broaden Your Horizons
Getting outside your comfort zone and participating in other cultures can foster a greater appreciation for a wider circle of people. While there are still a few hurdles to travelling, there are many other ways to experience the rewarding feeling of letting more of the world in.
Watch Foreign Films
Netflix and other streaming services typically have a selection of films from other countries that allow you to tour the world from your couch. Of course, watching movies won’t give you a perfectly accurate view of life in other countries, but it can give you a feel for the sights, sounds and sensibilities of other cultures. Also, isn’t it nice to occasionally watch something other than superhero flicks?
Try Food from a New Country
In Toronto, there’s practically a restaurant for any country you can think of, but elsewhere in the province if you want to try new cuisine you may need to cook it yourself. Either way, sampling the flavors of another place can make you feel like you’ve been transported. And there’s no need to be nervous—no matter which country you choose, most of the time it’s just meat and/or veg, in sauce, on some carbs. Delicious.
Read Fiction
One of the best things about reading is gaining access to the interior life of another. There’s a quote that says, “Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else's shoes for a while.” Science has since validated this observation, finding that people who read display greater empathy and emotional intelligence. And by choosing literature that’s set in an unfamiliar place, you can take it in through their eyes. There’s no better way to get to know a child wizard.
Learn a New Language
Whether it’s using a language app, listening to audiobooks or watching a YouTube series, there have never been more ways to pick up new language skills. Languages give us a new way of connecting with people, whether it’s relearning French or trying something different like Sign Language or Punjabi. That’s assuming you get a little further than being able to ask, where are the washrooms?
Visit an Art Gallery or Museum
After closures of more than a year and a half, many of our most valuable institutions have reopened. There are the famous ones like the ROM or the AGO, but dotting the province are wonderful establishments like the Timmins Museum & National Exhibition Center and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation on Manitoulin Island. One of the best things about Ontario is there’s just so much of it.
Meet New People
Though it’s harder to meet new people in person nowadays, there’s still infinite opportunity to chat with people online. Listening to someone describe their experience is the simplest way to deepen your understanding of what the lives of others are like. Endeavoring to make new connections who are different from you and approaching them with generous curiosity can increase your awareness and help you grow a larger, more diverse network. It’ll at least be more interesting than talking with someone because they happen to live in the house next to yours.
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