How Travel Changed My View Of The World
We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character” – Henry David Thoreau
The world news catches my attention in a way it has not before I started traveling.
Meeting someone from another country changes you. You gain entirely new perspectives on the world from the conversations you have and the meals you share. You realize what you see in the news is not reality and friendships can be formed in all corners of the globe.
I learned very quickly that humans aren’t so different. We have a family we love and jobs to go to during the day. People are generally good to each other no matter their backgrounds. We all want to be safe, happy, work, do what we love and be loved. While we go about it differently, we are all after the same things in life. Negative stereotypes disappear when people are exposed to new cultures and places.
I have learned that relative wealth—the wealth we have in the West in the form of opportunities and a government that generally provides basic services and support—does not isolate us from similar common human experiences. Though I have never gone hungry or wondered about my next meal, I do understand loss.
Even amidst poverty, I always feel a commonality of shared experiences—a desire within a person to better themselves, or perhaps a parent working day and night in the hope of a better life for their child. The circumstances of people I have met while traveling are often so seemingly different from mine, but yet underneath, deep within the travel experience were common themes. I found common hopes and common fears within each person’s story. Witnessing this, hearing the stories and feeling the kindness all over the world, has broadened my sense of self, and my understanding of the threads of connection that bind us all.