"Traveling is the Antidote to Ignorance"
I recently heard a travel quote that stuck with me like a tick. In Trevor Noah’s standup special, Afraid of the Dark, he says “Traveling is the antidote to ignorance.” I absolutely could not agree more.
Traveling isn’t just an opportunity to see the world; it’s a chance to experience it and be changed by it. It allows you to learn from people completely different from anyone you know at home, and to hear them explain their culture, customs, and cuisine. There is no match to this kind of education (sorry to my alma matter...you were a close second!). It’s one thing to learn about the Berlin Wall, Buddhism, or the Vietnam War in a classroom or book. It is something entirely different to see the places these things were born, grew, and manifested. To speak to the people who live that history is incredible, and it is not possible to remain unchanged by it. Travel opens your eyes and forces you to see the huge, wonderful, and painful aspects of our planet.
Backpacking from Western Europe to Southeast Asia when I was in college was the best learning experience I’ve ever had. When I was in Istanbul, I learned about the deep rooted respect for women that the Islamic faith teaches. When I was in Thailand and the world proclaimed that there was a violent coup occurring, I watched as hundreds of people peacefully and calmly protested their government. When I was in Holland, I learned where the greatest dams in the world were built, and how they became a symbol of national pride. When I was in Uganda, I learned that sugar cane tastes best when picked fresh from the side of the road. I’ve heard stories of family, and culture, and religion, and hardship. I’ve learned about completely different cultures, customs, and ways of thinking, and I have been so blessed by the experience.
What’s more, I’m not alone in my education. There is an entire, massive community of people all over the world who have travelled and been positively changed by it. They flock together in backpacker hostels and expat meet ups, and I really don’t think there is a nicer group of people on the planet. They have all opened themselves up to the world, and they are excited to welcome you into their community of wanderers. They are all working to free themselves of ignorance -- to listen to your story and tell you theirs. Experiencing the world has taught them patience, gratitude, and appreciation for everything. No matter where I travel, I always seek out these people and I am never disappointed.
Traveling has certainly been the best, and most effective, medicine for my affliction of ignorance. And I cannot wait for all the many more things it has to teach me.
If you too want to experience the world and learn from it, let me know! I’d be more than happy to help you plan your next adventure.