Travel Fosters Human Understanding

"Travel fosters human understanding, and empathy for people whose lives are unlike your own; it opens your eyes to otherness, including other cultures and religions. Serious travelers are among the most open and tolerant people I know; their frequent encounters with difference make them expansive in their thinking. Travelers are, ultimately, the enemies of terrorists, and what they believe works against terrorists’ aims, person by person and little by little. I am proud to count myself among these travelers and to work every day to inspire them—and to create more of them." - Nathan Lump, Travel + Leisure

It happened again. We were traveling during a terrorist attack. Is that weird? We found ourselves wondering if we have a knack for traveling during attacks, or if they just happen so frequently that it seems they always fall on our vacations.

Our return from Exuma was particularly humbling, as the crowd down there was a melting pot of nationalities. We actually encountered few Americans during our travels. On our last day in Exuma we woke up to the news of the attacks in Brussels, and as we watched coverage in airport terminals throughout the day I couldn’t help observing and listening to the people around me. As unfortunate as the situation was, I remember being struck by how interesting it was to be contained to a terminal watching a tiny cross section of the world’s population react to this horrific news.

As soon as I read this letter from Travel + Leisure I was struck by Nathan Lump’s words and how they resonated with my experience.  Not only my experience on that unfortunate March day, but my experience as a traveler of the world. Each trip I take opens my eyes and heart to the people, cultures, and values surrounding us. The differences are beautiful and they are worthy of understanding.

Please take the time to read Nathan’s letter, “Why Tuesday’s Terrorist Attacks Shouldn’t Make you Stay at Home” in it’s entirety here, and then please plan a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Remember, the trip doesn’t have to be far or expensive. New cultures and experiences are literally next door to you.

"Travel fosters human understanding, and empathy for people whose lives are unlike your own; it opens your eyes to otherness, including other cultures and religions. Serious travelers are among the most open and tolerant people I know; their frequent encounters with difference make them expansive in their thinking. Travelers are, ultimately, the enemies of terrorists, and what they believe works against terrorists’ aims, person by person and little by little. I am proud to count myself among these travelers and to work every day to inspire them—and to create more of them." - Nathan Lump, Travel + Leisure

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