Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Travel the World

What are some great reasons to live abroad, working as a teacher, and learning from your environment?

Author Arthur Frommer, from the Dallas Morning News:

Travel makes us care about strangers. A famine or disaster isn't distant, abstract suffering if you've visited the region.

Travel teaches that not everyone shares your beliefs. In issues small and large – from child-rearing to politics – a traveler learns there are many ways of thinking.

Travelers learn that all people in the world are basically alike.

We all care about family and protecting our loved ones, Mr. Frommer says. During his trip to China, he and his wife met an elderly woman. She didn't speak English, but when she saw the Frommers' gray hair, she insisted they wait while she ran to get something. She returned a moment later with pictures of her grandchildren.

He recalls sitting in a mud hut years earlier and hearing a young African mother confide her wish to learn to read. She wanted to understand government pamphlets about health care so she could protect her children.
"Aside from all the exterior differences, we all share the basic urges and concerns," Mr. Frommer says.

Rob Sangster reports in Great Outdoor Recreation Pages:

Travel is an opportunity to think of beginnings and endings, to challenge inhibitions, to experience pure joy.

As a traveler, you develop a deeper understanding of the strivings of billions of humans, of lives filled with achievement, as well as lives filled from dawn to dusk with hard work and hopelessness. And you realize how much of what you'd accepted as universal truth is based on only the values of the country, even the neighborhood, in which you grew up.

In the fable of the "Blind Men and the Elephant," one blind man puts his arms around the elephant's sturdy front leg and says, "This animal resembles a tree." Another grabs the trunk and insists the elephant is like a giant snake. A third runs his hand along the great flank and declares that, "An elephant is very like a wall." In the same way, it's hard to have an accurate perspective on life when experience is limited to a single culture.

Upgrade Reality takes a more direct approach:

Whoever you think you are right now and whatever you think you want from life right now will change if you travel for a long time. You will see the world, experience different cultures and meet many people. You will learn much about yourself and your expectations and goals in life may just change completely.

Travelling just gives such a general sense of ‘WOW’. All the different experiences (both good and bad) just make you feel alive and part of this wonderful world.