After traveling so much in the last 7 years, it’s hard to wrap my head around why we keep going. In 2017, we spent a total of 8 weeks abroad at various stages - not including the travel I did for my job.
So why travel?
Travel takes enormous effort; the planning, the financing, the actual journey to your destination - it’s not as glamorous as other travelers (and I) make it out to be. Yes, you can indulge in delicious Lappish food or visit the far reaches of the Australian Outback, but that can mean spending hours, sometimes well over a day, traveling.
The best part of traveling - the thing that makes you forget about all the annoyances about travel - is culture. Whether its your own culture informing where you go, stay, and how you get there or the culture in your destination sharing their food, music, dance, and hospitality.
Culture is the most important and best part of travel.
I think anyone who leaves their immediate area understands there are cultural differences everywhere. There are small, yet noticeable, cultural differences between the Southern US and the New York/New England region. However, the differences between Europe and Asia are dramatic. When traveling, awareness of these differences, and respect of the local culture, no matter how similar or different, is the key to world peace.
That’s a big statement to make, right?
Yes, it is. But it’s true. The more people travel, the more open they become to different cultures, beliefs, and people. There’s more tolerance, understanding, and kindness in the world. The simple act of seeing the world, even for the most selfish reasons, creates ripples in how we grow, act towards others, and treat ourselves.
Travel has the potential to bring peace.