“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.” ~ Mark Twain

I saw part of the above quote on a TV show last week and thought it was a good quote to share. It says a lot about human nature, which Twain was so good at relating to the common person. It makes you think.

You really don’t even really need to travel to foreign countries; you could just go anywhere in your own country and find different cultures. Live in New York City? Head to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado for a change of pace. Live in the Midwest? Go and experience Seattle. The same goes for domestic travel no matter your home country.

It’s all the same basic ideas to me – explore new places, eat new & unique foods, meet people and see how others live. That part of the experience is the same anywhere you go.

But, I find that going to a different country, especially on a different continent, gets you away from that false comfort of being in your own country. You can get robbed or assaulted ANYWHERE in the world so don’t think you’re safer here than other countries. In fact, you’re statistically safer traveling abroad than here in the U.S.

As far as safety, and I’ve mentioned this previously, many countries have cameras everywhere and they are in plain site but it’s not like a hidden camera situation. Much like a cop car or a foot patrol, camera presence is a huge deterrent to crime. I have stumbled around Amsterdam many times and never felt threatened – even in elbow-to-elbow crowds of intoxicated partiers on a Saturday night.

However, here in the U.S. that is a huge problem for some reason while people proudly proclaim that “I back the blue!” (among other opinions forced on others). Sorry, but you’re a fucking liar and a fucking hypocrite. People think it’s about invading privacy but it’s really just another cop on a corner in reality. If you have an issue with one then you should with the other.

But these are also the same people who give Google, Meta, Snapchat, and every other money-grubbing company access to the most private of personal information they ask for…yet a camera for everyone’s safety is a problem of privacy. I don’t get it. Most of those bitching are plastering their selfies all over the web so their privacy arguments are moot.

Travel will change you. It’s certainly not about the obligatory IG ducklips selfie. It’s not about how many places you go or the scenery you take a picture of. It’s about the whole experience. It’s learning things about other places, other cultures, other countries, other foods.

It’s also a journey of self-discovery. You quite possibly may find things about yourself you don’t like and need to change – how you look at others in the world for instance. You realize that others love their country, too, but they don’t need to arrogantly force upon everyone else that theirs is best and others are less.

Go somewhere. It doesn’t have to be a foreign country – just a new place. Be open to new things of all sorts. Mostly, be open to people and learn.

One video I saw really talks about this in a very direct but understandable manner. It is a Rick Steves video based on a book of his called “Travel as a Political Act”. Rick has traveled all over Europe and knows what he’s talking about. The video is not necessarily political in the sense of that word. It’s more about going and finding things out for yourself.

That’s all for this post.


Leave a Reply