“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.”
– Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
I love the above quote by Mark Twain. To me, it is the true goal of travel – by discovering new lands and new cultures with open hearts, one can acquire new perspectives of the world, understand and see things differently and therefore, increasing one’s acceptance towards men from other backgrounds and diminish misunderstandings amongst cultures.
We are entering a new year. Before you do that, try reflect on the past year – what have been the greatest and worst events and I think most importantly, what are your most grateful for.
2013 has been an amazing year for me. It has probably brought me to more people from so many different backgrounds than any one time in my life, which really boosted my love for travelling.
It was not just an eye-opening experience but also humble and prejudice-killing, which as I said before is the true goal of travel.
It made me come to realise that the perception of one place is really shaped by how the local people are – everyone who lives in that place is responsible for the reputation of that place regardless of how that place looks like, beautiful or not so beautiful. In a sense, we are responsible for the perception of the place we live in.
For 2013, I am truly grateful for these people from all these different places whom I had met along the way for sharing their lives, experiences and knowledges with me.
Make it one of your goals for the next trip – to really connect with someone local, no matter how you think of them (funny, snobby, kind, dirty, lazy, ungrateful, etc), listen to them, see the world through their eyes and you just might see beyond what is presented superficially.
With so many different people, the world is truly a World of Color.