One of the most exciting things about foreign travel is the sudden change of mind that we experience. When we are in a totally new envieronment, we are more awaken, our eyes more open, and our mind sharper. We become more attentive and alert, for we are more exposed to danger, even when just crossing the street, drive a car or seat to eat with the locals. In countries were the language, customs and landscape are utterly different from ours, we have to improvise more, to pay more attention, that is why we experience that time passes differently. It is as if life became a bit longer.
There is a big difference between traveling for fun and traveling for work. In the former you may get to know the country and the people, but rarely in a deep level, and you never cease to be seen as an outsider, if not a “tourist”. In the later, on the other hand, you get to know the reality of the people and the country much better, (whether you like it or not). You work with them, eat with them, travel with them, meet their families, see their real problems, discuss issues of politics and religion, and if you ask them, they take you to see the real thing in a level that you rarely get if you are just traveling around.