If you haven’t yet experienced being a minority within a culture, allow me to explain the beautiful perspectives it can bring you. There are so many great reasons for it; it humbles you, makes you stronger, more independent, and most importantly grows your empathy for others. If you have always been a part of a majority through race, religion, or language spoken; etc. That culture and in-group is so natural to you, that you don’t yet understand the challenges minorities face, nor how you could grow from being in one. When you are the one who is different, you have to hold your own, and this can be a superpower!
It helps you learn how to ask for help more often when you are on your own in a foreign culture. I especially felt this when I was in Argentina constantly challenged by the language and the speed with which they spoke. It was such a steep learning curve being there, yet pushing through made me a stronger, more resilient person. In Spain as well, I remember being the only Brittany, the only American, and the only one that was challenged by speaking Spanish. It helps you be more patient with others broken English, when you too have had to fight for every word!
Consider trips that put you out of your comfort zone and out of the majority in one way or another, to fully feel the difference in being a minority. You will grow humility, patience, empathy, and tolerance for others and resiliency, strength, and confidence for yourself, qualities we could all use a little more of!
Brittany is a bilingual Spanish teacher who has lived in Spain and Argentina. Through this blog, she hopes to relate her travels, insights, and Spanish speaking journey!