America has become extremely divided over the last several years. You can’t log-on to Facebook or Twitter without noticing it. Tensions are high. People are scared. Families are divided on their political leanings and with Thanksgiving right around the corner I can’t help but think about the awkward conversations that will be happening around the dinner table (I hope that’s not the case at your house).
I know my Facebook has been flooded with articles and memes that highlight racism, sexism, and are extremely polarizing. I would be lying if I said it didn’t worry me. It feels like hate & rage have replaced civility and respect. Can we every get back to how things were? Better yet- do you want things to go back to how they were or do we want to create a world that is more accepting, kind, and tolerant?
I keep coming back to Mark Twain’s quote about travel.
“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.”
Travel is fatal to prejudice.
Travel is fatal to bigotry.
Travel is fatal to narrow-mindedness.
I try and imagine what the world would look like if everyone was able to travel. I have no doubt it would be a more compassionate place because travel has a way of opening your heart. I’ve learned that people- no matter their color, language, or social class- all enjoy sharing a meal, a smile, or a dance. I’ve learned that you cannot judge a country by what you see on the news.
Instead of shutting each other out and letting fear control us- why don’t we get out and explore this beautiful world? Let’s celebrate each other’s differences. Let’s be open to knowledge and have a willingness to change. The more informed we become- the more powerful we are against the people who want to use fear to control us.
Whether you are staying at luxury hotels or in a hostel- I am happy and encouraged to see you getting out and exploring the world. Travel has changed my life, and I am honored to have the opportunity to help people get out and experience different cultures.