So the reason you’re not hearing from me much lately is because I’m so busy! And then when I’m not busy, I’m simply exhausted. Not good, huh? As you all may or may not know, I travel the world quite frequently. Since I met and married my husband 4 1/2 years ago, I’ve visited over 20 countries–most of them more than several times! First let me say that I am a firm believer that travel is so important! You don’t necessarily have to travel internationally like I do to understand this. Travel expands your worldview; it breaks down prejudices and stereotypes; it can eliminate racism; it helps you to have a new perspective. I have seen this over and over again in my own life and in the lives of the thousands of people we have taken out of their comfort zones to see the world.
Here are a few things I’d like to share with you that I’ve learned on the road (and in the air!):
- People are people wherever you go. There are good and bad, nice and mean, beautiful and ugly, thoughtful and rude, rich and poor in EVERY race and culture.
- Stereotypes are just stereotypes…and they are usually unfair and untrue. How many of you have heard that Parisians are ALL rude and hate Americans? Guess what?!?! Brad and I got our ONLY free taxi ride in the entire world from a Parisian taxi driver.
- Don’t believe everything you see on the news. This has been proved over and over as I have visited Jordan and Israel and Palestine (multiple times over the past 5 years).
- Americans are too busy. As I have visited places like Palestine, British Virgin Islands, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba…I have discovered that we have lost
something so crucial–RELATIONSHIPS. The people I’ve encountered in these cultures place so much value on family and friends. They actually spend time with each other. They value these relationships above work and television and ‘me’ time (OUCH!). They KNOW their neighbors! I can honestly tell you that I’ve lived in the same neighborhood for 3 years now and i do not know the people who live 20 feet to the right of my home. We have truly sacrificed relationships for busy-ness (careers, technology, school, texting…you fill in the blank).
So what have you learned from travel? Has it changed your life? Do you have a personal experience to share? I’d love to hear it!