Travel Lessons From the Wizard of Oz

wizard of ozOk. You caught me. Oz isn’t a real place. However, that doesn’t mean that the underlying messages of the movie can’t apply to the soul-searcher everywhere. Just in case you haven’t seen the Wizard of Oz since ‘92, here’s a refresher:

Somewhere in Kansas, Miss Gulch, the crotchety old neighbor women, starts beef with the ever melodramatic Dorothy over her precious dog, Toto. Much to her dismay, Auntie Em does not have her back and Toto is sentenced to death (pretty tough sentence for simply digging in a garden, but I digress). To protect Toto, Dorothy runs away, befriends a vagabond magician and gets caught up in a tornado that transports her to Oz.

After her wild ride to technicolor Oz, Dorothy has the opportunity to do some soul-searching and realizes that there is no place like home. Though Dorothy comes to the realization that she wants to return to Kansas, this may not be the path other travelers take.

Here are 5 things travelers can extract from the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy’s adventure:

  1. Embrace the unknown – Dorothy encounters some weird stuff along the Yellow Brick Road, but that doesn’t get her down. Whether it’s a talking apple tree throwing its apple babies at her or a perpetually irritable witch trying to kill her vibe (and her in general) she is able to embrace her new surroundings and enjoy her time en route to the Emerald City.
  2. Talk to strangers – *DISCLAIMER: Do this cautiously. There could always be stranger-danger, but use your street smarts, people! Chatting it up with locals can be one of the best ways to learn about the local culture, know where the non-touristy hot spots are, and maybe even make a new friend.
  3. Have courage – Don’t live your life as the Cowardly Lion. Traveling in general comes with a   certain amount of risks, but you get out of it what you put in. Of course, it’s always important to listen to your gut, but if you’re too afraid to try new things you might miss out on something epic.
  4. Don’t let the little things get you down – Fine. Getting transported to a fantasy land via twister isn’t necessarily a “little” thing, but travel comes with it’s ups and downs. Roll with the punches and remember to look on the bright side. No one likes a Negative Nancy in their travel crew.
  5. There’s no place like home – Home doesn’t need to be the place you started. Through traveling, you’re able to find where you fit in the world. Maybe you are a Dorothy and just want to get back to Kansas and that’s cool. Travel makes you appreciate where you came from, but it can also open your eyes to new places you may fit in the world. Keep an open mind and find your Kansas.