Sunday, July 12, 2009


"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings..."

Of planes--and trains--and foreign lands. Of the joy that travel brings.

I'm off again on my globetrotting adventures. I'll be heading thousands of miles from home, winging my way through the sky, only to end up at the same place I left. But I won't be the same person. Every time I travel anywhere, my heart and soul expand. I meet new people, imprint a new landscape on my mind, and become one with the wider world. No longer is that place just a dot on a map. It explodes from a 2-D, easy-to-ignore spot into a fully fleshed out world. It becomes real. When I read news about a place I've been, I ache. I think about the people that live there and hope they're OK. Their pain becomes my pain.

I often wonder if the solution to world peace is travel. If everyone spent time in various spots around the world, they'd open their hearts to the people there. They'd care about that place and what happens there. It's so much harder to close your eyes to the pain and suffering of people you know. Travel to Africa. See the AIDS orphans. Look at the poverty of India--not on TV or in magazine pictures, but firsthand. Experience a drought and learn how precious water can be. Afterward, it's hard to turn your back when you see charity appeals to help the people you've seen. Suddenly, they become real. Their problems become your problems. Their poverty becomes your responsibility. You are them and they are you.

Whenever I arrive home after a trip, I've not only increased my understanding of myself and others, but I've added to my family--I now have relatives all over the globe. I've also added another country to care about. They say travel is broadening, and it's true. It enlarges your horizon, your understanding, your heart.

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