Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

on travel

The theory is that travel broadens one, and trade is just travel with a purpose.

Many hundreds of years ago, some people travelled to trade, to broaden their base of trade, to expand the numbers of those would would buy the things they were selling. Those people broadened their mental horizons, some of them without even knowing it or intending it. Those people who did not travel kept narrow horizons. It’s a bit like “show and tell”. You can read about something but it’s not until you see it that you grasp the differences.

You can still find pockets of people who do not travel at all, who have never travelled and none of their friends or family ever travel, and they are much narrower in their outlook than those who do travel. Even people who have only made one trip in their whole lives have a broader outlook.

What do I mean by broad outlook? If you have one, you understand that you are not the only culture in the world and that other cultures may have things to offer you. You understand that people elsewhere think differently from you and that helps you see that people everywhere think differently from you - and that there is a lot about people that is alike too. It is like stepping back and seeing the forest and the trees. It can even make you more accepting of peoples’ differences, although that doesn’t always happen. And of course, there is the usual exception that proves the rule. There are people who travel who refuse to allow themselves to broaden. But I think that could be an active even if unconscious choice.


Anonymous Tim said...

I think travel is great, having lived in Japan, Philippines and visited 25+ other countries

Nice Blog Julia - I noticed the tulips in your bio pic - nice salute to your Dutch heritage, the general would be proud

5:13 p.m., August 17, 2005  

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