Before creating a new blog category, I find that it is incredibly important to clearly define why the topic is important to both me and the world. I will also lay out why following the blog category hopefully won''t waste your time when it comes to getting some value out of it.
“I hate to travel.”
Said no one ever.
I don’t really know if the above statement is true, but I do know that lots of young people (including myself) have said that traveling is a big part of enjoying your life and getting outside of your comfort zone. I have been fortunate enough to be well-traveled out of necessity and thus consider it critical towards my personal growth and development. However, my past travels have shaped my perspective on why it’s not just about beaches, Coronas and tourist spots. For me (and the context of this blog category), I will try and focus on the variety of different and awesome people that I have met throughout my travels and what I learned from that.
People, people, people
Going to new places usually comes with seeing how other people live. Whether it’s a new country, city or continent, it can be a real shock to see that people live their lives completely differently from yours. One of the most important benefits one can gain from travel is seeing not only where people are different, but how people are oddly similar.
For example, having been to over thirty states I found that almost every area has people that deeply share core American values: freedom, patriotism, and the right to life, liberty and happiness. I know it’s a pretty generic example, but you really don’t find that sort of thing when you go out of the country. In fact, Americans are one of the only few nationalities that actually eagerly huddle together and talk outside of the country. If you go to any tourist destination out of the US, you will find groups of Americans that found each other. The same isn’t usually true of other nationalities. Americans stick together really well.
When you really pay attention to the people aspect, you learn a lot about where you came from and how your life really is that different from other people. However, I find it slightly tragic that most people go on vacations and only take pictures of beaches and buildings when the really unique aspect is the people-factor.
In fact, a good friend (and mentor) of mine, Dave Hanlon, has a habit of traveling to new places and only coming back with pictures of the people. When I asked him why he did this, his reply was this as far as I can remember:
“No, no, no. You can always see pictures of the buildings and cities, but that’s not that unique. It’s the people, that’s what I go for. Pictures of the people tell a much better story and are what you remember.” - Dave Hanlon
Like learning about how Americans stick together, I strongly believe that traveling is a great opportunity to learn more about what makes people similar to one another. This type of knowledge and insight has lots of value for our careers, relationships and general outlook towards life.
What I hope to share
In the course of writing posts for this category, I hope to share pictures, anecdotes and lessons I learned from the different people that I meet on travels. I have only been to a small handful of countries so I also hope that this will encourage me to venture past the US a lot more as well.