My Determination for Traversing the World
I've traveled a lot in my life, or at least more than most people have, and I’ve enjoyed it throughout my life. I’ve been from the sunny warm sands of Hawaii to the tall cold mountains of Ireland. But I don’t want to stop at just going places. I don’t want to limit myself to just walking on a beach in Cabo, I don’t want to travel across the world, through different time zones just to walk right into a tourist trap. I want to go to a historical site off the beaten path that ordinary people would find boring. I want to find a local gem with truly authentic cooking instead of dining at a hotel Michelin star restaurant.
However, it isn’t enough to just go and see those places. It’s not enough to just observe the cultures of the places that I visit. I want to understand them. Which I was luckily able to do this past summer, during a trip out to Italy. While I was there, I made an effort to seek out smaller, family-owned restaurants and avoid tourist traps, which helped immerse me in local Italian culture.
Me cutting into an octopus at a restaurant in Madrid, Spain
The end of a hike in Ireland
I understand that there is a serious need for everyone in the world to at least make an effort to understand cultures different from their own. It’s just common knowledge by now that the world is getting more complicated. Societies across the planet are becoming more and more interconnected on a global scale, the demographics of nations are diversifying, and cross-cultural exchanges are becoming more frequent. The world is getting bigger, richer, and most of all more culturally diverse. It’s not enough to merely have an appreciation for our differences, by understanding different cultures we can pave the way for a new, better, and united world.
Kicking back in Cabo
Let’s face facts, we’ve reached a moment in time where just tolerating each other and our differences are simply not good enough. Toleration is no longer the bare minimum. Traveling is important for everyone because it helps us become more inclusive and have a more well-rounded approach to how we engage with other people. If we truly want this world to get any better, then it’s up to us to form a global community that encourages mutual respect, understanding, learning, and growing together. I want to be a part of that global community, someone who celebrates the diversity around me and learns all that I can about it. And I’m modest enough to admit that I can become more inclusive and improve in developing more well-rounded ways of engaging with others.