It’s A Small World

Its funny how the further you travel, and the more places you visit, the world seems more reduced in size.  You begin to notice the similarities in people and cultures, rather than the differences – and begin to see that the differences aren’t all that unique really.

Once you have traveled enough, some curious things begin to happen…

with William of William's Tours - Ica, PeruYou start to have inside jokes with total strangers.  You curiously connect with cab drivers, to the point that others are confused and think it’s a friend you’ve known for years, coming to pick you up from the bus/train/plane.  You find yourself invited to dinners with friends just met – or to break fast with the family of a tout you’ve connected with at Ramadan.  You walk into offices of tour operators who remember your name a year after the fact, and pull up your photo which has been loaded on their website.  You encounter friends of friends along the road – always amazed that you’ve somehow found someone so closely connected to your origins.   Ludwig of Ecotours - Arequipa, Peru You come together, and find you have more in common with people born in other worlds than those from your own.  You begin to meet, and actually recognize, people randomly from twitter.  You build stronger (often virtual) relationships with those you’ve come across while on the road, than those you’ve known your entire life.  These changes and realizations make you care about global issues you might not have considered before.

Once you have traveled enough, some things become more significant to your own world…

Travel is often about learning new systems, beliefs and ways of life.  Being open to societies in spite of their differences, and showing respect for their ways by taking part yourself, facilitates change in your own world and perspective.    As you become accustomed to other (foreign) ways of living, you pick up habits that make you question the standards of life you were raised with, and the affects those standards and processes have on the lives of others.

People laugh, cry, smile, and frown the same the world over – and though tied to variant basic traditions – we really are all so similar at heart – bodies filled with emotions and feelings that we long to share with others – a feeling that spans the globe, and shows us how small this world really is.  In my experience, smiling at, interacting with, and being open to learning something new from people I’ve met along the way has opened up new doors and new viewpoints which enrich my own existence – I can only hope that I have had such an affect on those who have encountered me on their way as well.

 

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