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Benefits of Travel

19 Jun

It has been a while…over a year since my last post. I am going to rededicate myself to writing posts more often as I travel.

I’m on my third week in a row on the road. The wife isn’t happy about it. It is part of my job however. Traveling is only a part of my work not all of my work.  It has however, taken me away from home three weeks straight now.

My first stop two weeks ago was Seattle, WA. Last week was Anchorage, AK. And this week I’m in Baton Rouge, LA. I will have two weeks off before heading to Denver for three days in early July. I have been home (outside Boston), between each of these trips making my airline miles grow on one or two specific airlines.

What have I learned these past three weeks? Why do I like traveling so much? Why do we all visit places outside of our home towns or cities?  I’ve got some thoughts. We wait in security lines, take our shoes off, store our gear, shove bags in overhead compartments, deal with delays or cancellations, take buses, wake up early, get in late, rent cars, deal with traffic, multiple personalities, and multiple languages or dialects as we travel the nation or globe. Why do we do this?

We want to see how lucky we are compared to others. We want to find out if we are in a better, or worse, situation than others. We want to see how others live, and die. We want to ask ourselves, “could I live here?” “Would I want to live here?”

Some folks have other reasons; to put up with the grind of travel to see other people and places. We want to see our great country and see the unique sights and sounds of historically significant places. Some folks travel to see the people. Some folks travel to see the places. Some folks travel for educational reasons.

What do we find from our travels? People are strange. People are generous. People are distinctive. People are proud. People are stubborn. People are self-centered. In sum, people are different. Generalizations are no good when describing specific cultures, regions or areas of the country or of the world. Everyone is distinct but there are some generalizations to be made about people in general.

My travels have taken me to all four corners of our great country and around the world. I have found that most folks are trying to better their lives as best they can within the boundaries of their current environs. People are mostly helpful, if asked. People are inherently good but often need to be pushed or pulled or coaxed. I don’t know why this is but on my future travels, I will try to figure this out. Maybe we just don’t trust folks we don’t know or don’t feel a need to stick our necks out without expecting something in return. Who knows?

In sum however, cultures may be different and may seem foreign to us, languages may seem like gibberish and we may feel uncomfortable not understanding but jump in…learn the language. Learn the culture. Try the “exotic food.” See the local sites and take in the art, the history, the architecture. One can only enjoy traveling and deal with the hassles of getting there in order to see all of the various distinctions and similarities of people and places around our great country and around the world.

Now go travel somewhere!!

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