I don’t know about you but I have been watching the news more in the last 3 weeks than I have at any other time in my life. I have called my Senators regarding cabinet nominees, read lengthy articles on legal issues and even subscribed to political podcasts. Who am I? I just want to understand what’s going on, learn from history and ultimately I’d like to figure out how I can make a positive difference in my little part of the world.
One message I have heard repeatedly is that the world is not a safe place. Of course we need to be prudent. That has always been true. You need to be smart when you travel. Exercise caution. Hold on to your handbags. Don’t go down dark alleys with strangers, etc. I know that’s not the kind of danger that is being discussed in the current environment but I believe it’s important to note that we do need to be careful when we are home and when we travel – make good choices about where we go, what we do and who we spend time with. But we NEED to spend time with people from other places!! Travel changes our mindset and our perspective in a way that ultimately makes the world a safer place. I am more accepting and understanding now than I was before I traveled. I now realize that we all share many more similarities than differences. We love our children, our spouses, our parents and our friends. We want good things for those around us. And the world is around us.
Some might think that I am naïve. I don’t think that’s an accurate description of my attitude. This view is a conscious choice. I would rather live in my world where I love other people and seek to see the good in them than in a world where I am afraid. I refuse to be led by fear and a negative view of the world and my neighbors in it. I am much more frightened by the number of people in my community who have died from car accidents long before their time than by making travel plans to Europe and the rest of the world and going to places I’ve never been. Just because people die in car accidents, does that mean I’m not going to get into a car? Of course not. I am more concerned about my family and friends getting cancer than being at the wrong place at the wrong time because I chose to travel the world. I can’t control the cancer but I can control my choice to see as much of the world as I can, for as long as I am able.
So go – do – travel. See new places. Learn from history. Visit Dachau or Auschwitz or Buckenwald and see what hate and fear and greed and selfishness can lead to and then go to a beer hall and see what joy there is in camaraderie. There is universality in the Golden Rule which is practiced by all the world's major religions. So let’s follow that Golden Rule and treat others as we want to be treated ourselves. Let’s make plans to travel to Europe and practice being kind to one another. Then we can come home and tell all our friends how beautiful people really are, wherever we go.
If you would like to talk with me about planning your own European vacation, especially to Italy, France and Ireland, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help you make your travel dreams come true!