Through traveling, you learn quickly that it is foolish to put people into categories and that the cartoonish impressions that others ascribe to other nationalities are invariably inaccurate. In fact, when you see someone thoughtlessly demonizing any group they do not know well, it says much more about the accuser than the accused.
Through traveling, we learn that people of all cultures share basically the same hopes and aspirations that we have. Yes, outside appearances are often vastly different. We pray to different Gods or no Gods at all. We dress in different manners and have different traditions and languages. Some cultures are outgoing and others are more reserved and stoic; but all cultures love their children, are proud of their heritage, want to improve conditions for their families and leave a legacy of some sort behind.
Through traveling our preconceptions are challenged and you will see other, perhaps better, ways of accomplishing positive things. Freedom is something we talk about, but don’t often exercise. Mindlessly waving flags and reciting pledges is not freedom. Acquiring the knowledge to critically examine and analyze your circumstances and taking action to act upon that knowledge is freedom.
Mark Twain said it best: ‘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.’
Jonathan Look Jr. Why Travel Is More Important Than Ever