Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Reason To Travel

St. Petersburg, Russia Proved Most Memorable!
I  recently started working on a new book that I will be co-authoring with another writer about traveling. The name of the book is “Blitz Traveler”. The subject is interesting to me in that it explores a  style of travel that is quite intense and not for the faint of heart. On one of these well-planned trips, it is not uncommon to visit as many as fifteen countries in just about four weeks. This has allowed me over the last several years to wander to more distant places. I’m often surprised at how many Americans are uncomfortable with the concept of visiting distant lands. As a traveler, I generally have found people throughout the world to be very friendly.

It is important to step outside our comfort zone and to experience other people and their cultures  without the filter of government or the media. As we visit other countries  we discover different ways to view America and begin to take a more worldly and less self-centered attitude as to our role in today world that is changing at an ever-faster pace. We see with our own eyes how for many people all over the world everyday life is a harsh struggle, and we learn  how lucky we are to have been blessed to have been born in the land of plenty. We realize that others often hate America’s policies but not its people.
Violence and ugliness shown in the media can not change the fact that  the world is becoming a global village. Technology has brought about the collapse of distance, space, and time making the world much smaller in many ways. The increased interaction between different peoples and the increasing economic ties are creating a co-dependency that has positive long term implications. Put the history of time into perspective. In the context of man's time on earth, it was “only a moment ago” that the Nations of the world joined together to form the United Nations.

Today people are becoming more mobile and fluid. This has allowed a new cultural mix to thrive and mixed cultures to be accepted. With the internet and the world wide web's rapid growth, the neighbor you converse with might just live on the other side of the world. As a result of new technology and media, mankind may move to a more collective identity and culture, less fragmented by the differences of the past. This is part of the magic and power of travel and a reason for hope that someday we will see world peace.

Traveling is a learning experience. Little things you knew or have heard about take on new meaning and are clarified. The Muslim Prophet Mohammad said, “Don’t tell me how well educated you are or how old you are, tell me how much you have traveled then I will tell you how much you know”. Traveling is one of the best ways I have found to achieve personal growth and gain new insights. People that are unwilling to grow and experience new things become like the walking dead merely putting in their time till it expires.

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