Travel

Daily writing prompt
What countries do you want to visit?

I’m not opposed to foreign travel. It’s just that so many people have little understanding of their own country that I’m not sure that the contrast offered by another country provides much value. Education is often a compare-and-contrast sort of situation. We need to know enough to make the process work.
Lacking self-knowledge, travel to another country can be a bit of candy floss, tasting good but with little substance.
When I was a young rogue, hitching rides, playing coffeehouses, and generally being a reckless ne’er do well, I was amazed by the variety of experiences and cultural variations I found within the United States. A bit later on, when I had the opportunity for foreign travel, I was better prepared to compare and contrast because I had something to compare and contrast, having traveled widely in my own country.
If asked, the travel advice I might give is this. Despite social media, cell phones, and the automobile, the United States and North America, by extension, remain wonderfully diverse in language, culture, and history. Before taking a 21st-century version of the Grand Tour, hop on a train or bus, and make some extended visits outside your cultural or linguistic comfort zone within your own country. Gain some actual knowledge, unfiltered by CNN, Fox, or other media, meet people, see places, and eat food.
Then go abroad. You’ll be a better visitor, learn more and bring a better depth of understanding back.

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