In The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” And though 150 years have passed since he penned these words, the lesson is no less true or essential today.
Twain’s proclamation doesn’t hold for all travel, mind you. Not the kind where you sequester yourself in some sort of luxury playground, held apart from the real lives of the people who call your “destination” home. To tap into the transformative potential of travel, you have to put yourself in situations that challenge you, where the best-laid plans may flounder and comfort is never guaranteed. That’s where the magic happens.
For your next trip, consider one of the 10 cities below, and make a point to go beyond your comfort zone. They’re places you may have considered before, or maybe not, but each has the potential to leave you changed, so that you return home different from the person who boarded that first flight.