Travel project

Travel is fatal for prejudice

Thursday, September 24, 2015

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” – Mark Twain

Travelling is a way to understand cultures and greet the unknown with open arms. In order to accept foreign cultures in the midst of our society, one needs an elaborate understanding of the world and its customs around the globe.

What did you learn through travelling?

When asked by the BBC “What do you learn during traveling that you can't learn otherwise? How did traveling change you?” a number of readers reacted in a very diverse manner. “Go out there and see what happens. Do at least one real trip to somewhere poor and different without internet or TV." "The last thing I'll say is that, if every world leader or powerful rich person were required to travel a certain amount (not political first class travel but rather real backpacker no money travel) the world would be a very VERY different place.”, says for instance traveller Lawrence Lu.

Overcome personal borders

Travelling afar was a very personal experience for Simon Huggins “Seeing boys holding hands in friendship, people stopping in the middle of the street in front of me, and pulling their trousers down for a crap, smelling a bonfire laden with jasmine during a festival - these things stay with me more than my visit to the Taj Mahal, another building.” The situations might not always be comfortable but that is exactly what forms the intensive perception and experience of a new culture. As the saying goes – Life only begins, where your comfort zone ends.

Memories last a lifetime

One doesn’t have to take it as far in everyday life, but a good vacation and gathered experiences can still form you sustainably, just as it did for Kris van de Vijver  “I'm 44 years old now and my memories of my travelling experiences are among the best I have. The longer you travel and the more time you spend in one place during these trips,  the better these memories will be preserved. Don't miss out.“

Each traveller has different destinations that take them out of their comfort zone and leave a deep cultural impression. But one thing counts for all, as Simon Huggins  put it for the BBC “When you travel, you are faced with alternative cultures that have a different way of doing, thinking and and believing. It challenges your assumptions and makes you shift your way of looking at things, so that when you get home, you come back to your own culture with different eyes, and a more questioning mind.”