Travel is such an important way to open someone’s eyes and heart. Travel creates an awareness like nothing else can. Travel is the only thing you BUY that makes you richer. Travel offers Awe, excitement, empathy, happiness and gratitude. The kind of travel I speak of is not that of a tourist. I’m not talking about staying in an all inclusive 5 star resort. I am talking about culture immersion. Catching a glimpse of the real world. Volunteering with the indigenous people. Catch a glimpse of their reality. Be a part of it, even if it’s just a short time. I am talking about setting up a tent for $2 a night on the Costa Rican Shore of biutifuloficial.com, or at the Lost and Found Lodge in Panama’s cloud Forest.
Travel often reflects relentless excessiveness. Travelling to different countries can be a reference marker of the speed to which we live our lives in the western world. We chase things. We obsess over our wants and never seem to be happy when we indulge ourselves. Often not appreciating what we already have!! It never seems to be enough. We always need more! We measure ourselves these things, our possessions. That do nothing to reveal our true characters. We are a society obsessed with “getting and having” instead of “being and becoming.”
Travel shows how we take our food for granted and rely on processed crap as if we need it. We supersize everything. We have massive buffets. We arrogantly throw away so much food. If the people of third world countries saw the amount of food we throw away or let rot in our refrigerators, they would be amazed and disheartened. Imagine if a person from poor Sudan came to one of our grocery stores? What would they think? Their society as a whole is starving and we have large food warehouses. Bright and gleaming. I think we could help feed the world. We just choose not to.
Travel helps to put that all in perspective. It helps make it an easier decision to cut back on excesses in our lives, simply because it’s not needed. Travel also helps to put our “want” list into perspective and make that monster a little less incessant. Travelling to a poor but beautiful country makes you understand what hunger is. It’s easier to wait for supper, if lunch was missed. As you know those kids in the community you volunteered for, don’t get to eat on a whim, whenever they feel the urge. They don’t eat for sport, they eat when they can and what they can and appreciate it. We as a society have never been truly hungry. We don’t know what true hunger is.
Travel brings families together. Memories created, bonds built. Especially, if you and your family volunteered in Cambodia to make all terrain wheelchairs for victims of landmines. This creates a lifetime connection. A family that sails together, or travels extensively learn to get along with each other. They interact and grow with each other. They also learn how to get without chronically handling electronics. Internet time usually happens in an internet cafe somewhere, used to keep in touch with family and friends. Not to waste hours playing games.