“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.”
A person can live their whole lives without never venturing outside their little community. They can be happy just existing with life as they have always known it. Their views of the world as they know it will continue on and mayhaps be passed down through generations of offspring who are also content with not knowing what the world is really like.
I was fortunate enough to travel, what to me seemed like across the world, from Wisconsin to Arizona when I was 6 years old. My grandmother’s brother and sister-in-law had lived in Phoenix at the time and I was invited to tag along on their venture. I was ecstatic that I was going to miss two full weeks of school! My grandparents had promised me a trip to a real live Ranch where I could ride a real live horse! Visiting my seldom seen relatives came in a distant third.
(picture taken from Google Images)
I loved everything about that trip…the airplane, the coin operated bathroom stalls in the Colorado airport, the dessert, the horse, the mountains, my relatives. But, looking back, the part that really sticks is seeing how other people lived in an area that wasn’t mine. (I should have gotten my degrees in Social Anthropology…)
I was lucky enough to extended that avenue of experience to my daughter when she was 13 years old…that was the first time we traveled and set foot in Japan. That experience opened her eyes to other cultures, landscapes, and ideas. Sure the sun, moon, and stars remain constant but the landscape, ideas, people, sights and sounds, hustle and bustle, customs, food…definitely food, and everything in between is different.
(sunrise over Tokyo) (sunrise viewed from my kitchen window)
Growing up, most people are only influenced by those that help raise them. They don’t get a chance to flex their minds, to see the world as it is….huge and oh so very different. I’m not proposing that everyone needs to become world travels, to jet set across the globe…but it wouldn’t hurt. Just by going to a different area of your state/province may help a person see differently.
(2014 Meiji Jungo, Tokyo)