While I’ve yet to leave this continent, travel really does broaden ones mind, reduces prejudice and increases trust in fellow humans no matter where they live.
I not only saw this happen to me, but my friends that travel in a similar manner to me seem to have very similar values. Oddly enough, I have met people who travel a lot, but they don’t seem to fit into this theory.
This study seems to explain why…the key is different places. When my friends and I travel, we often travel to places very different than what we call home. We also travel in a very vulnerable manner; motorcycle, bicycle, old unreliable VW bus, walking, sailing. We are not traveling the interstates, staying in 5 star hotels or eating at chain restaurants. We are embedding ourselves in micro cultures of this country and others. We arrive without walls to close us off from them, but rather seeking support and answers. Sometimes we are the ones providing the answers as the folks we meet are typically curious about our method of travel or travel companions and our vulnerability makes us approachable.
Look at our own travel. Do you stay on the interstate? Eat in the same restaurants? Eat the same food? Stay in the same hotels? Visit the same places? What happens when you break down? Are you scared, upset or do you take the opportunity to discover someplace you had not planned on stopping? Every town in this country and others has a history – a beginning. Discover it and discover the people. While I love the views I see along my travels, it is the people I meet that make my trip memorable. It is the people I meet that tell me about other interesting places and it is the people I meet that change my life.