Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
Broad, wholesome, charitable views…cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
(Mark Twain, Author and World Traveler)
In 2017, I visited Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain's home in Hartford, CT., and in doing so, gained a greater appreciation for his writing, and for who he was as a human being. In that visit, I became inspired to begin writing again, and immersed myself in reading his essays, books, and journals. There just isn't a better writer than Twain!
My travel experiences have taught me a lot about the world and about myself. I now realize that in my teens and early 20’s, out of necessity I was already becoming a self-sufficient, independent, resilient young person because of travel. I slept on buses, trains, planes and terminals; in college dorms, homes, convents, military lodgings, and in poor and luxurious places. I "slept" in rooms with geckos on the walls, and in a war zone - a room with a rope hanging down from a large opening in the ceiling. I walked in the dark to outhouses, and showered, bathed, and did my laundry in makeshift situations for weeks at a time. I rode in water taxis in Venice, bullet trains in Japan, Fiat buses in Italy, Jitneys in the Philippines, armored jeeps in Vietnam, and cars on the Autobahn. I flew on commercial flights, military flights, helicopters, C-123 and C-5 cargo planes, and Huey choppers. I was invited into plane and helicopter cockpits, which surely must have broken a few rules!
Travel provided opportunites for me to see how "regular people" lived - those whose homes and lives were stable, functional, and basically happy. I also saw many unhappy dysfunctional home situations. Travel was, and still is, an excellent teacher!
(This list of places isn't meant to be complete, but it does convey how much I have valued travel in my life. However, no matter where I have been or what fabulous, amazing sites I have seen, my favorite places have been, and always will be wherever my loved ones are.)
Europe and Far East: Austria, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Germany, the former Yugoslavia, Guam, Okinawa, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, South Vietnam; Towns and Cities: Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Genoa, Padua, Bologna, Pisa, Salzburg, Linz, Gmunden, Belgrade, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, St. Moritz, Monte Carlo, Tokyo, Seoul, Pusan, Manila, Saigon, DaNang, Nha Trang, Phan Rang, Chu Lai, Khe Sanh, Hue, Bangkok, Hong Kong
United States: Almost all of our 50 states...
What I Have Learned
Travel opens up opportunities to learn about and appreciate diversity.
It teaches you about customs, cultures, languages, foods, transportation, climate, and geography.
It challenges you to explore and learn.
It pulls you into situations and places that are uncomfortable, unfamiliar, disorienting, and difficult.
It drops you into situations that are amazing, intriguing, and enjoyable.
It encourages self-sufficiency, resiliency, flexibility, independence, and decision-making.