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Read my first article for the Huffington Post

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I’ve published my first article for the Huffington Post today. Please check it out and leave a comment!

20 Things I’ve Learned From Traveling Around the World for Three Years

On March 13, 2007, I handed over the keys to my house, put my possessions in storage and headed out to travel around the world with nothing but a backpack, my laptop and a camera.

Three and a half years and 70 countries later, I’ve gotten the equivalent of a Ph.D in general knowledge about the people and places of Planet Earth.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

1) People are generally good. Many people are afraid of the world beyond their door, yet the vast majority of humans are not thieves, murderers or rapists. They are people just like you and me who are trying to get by, to help their families and go about living their lives. There is no race, religion or nationality that is exempt from this rule. How they go about living their lives might be different, but their general goals are the same….

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  • 16 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Simone says:

    Really good article, Gary! I agree with all of your observations. I have been able to visit 49 countries, often alone, and found people to be incredibly helpful and kind-hearted. I wish more potential travelers would realize that the world is NOT filled with terrorists trying to kill them and that most people of the world are just like them, living their lives and dealing with the same problems as they are.

  2. Scott says:

    I thought the article was great. People are good and media lies are dead on, though it’s interesting your comment on US/Canada being same culture yet regional. We may sound similar but Canadians are generally far more liberal and believe in social policies and rights such as healthcare. Our conservative party is basically your democratic. Maybe more like Germay and Netherlands rather than behavior of one country…

    • Simone says:

      Hi Scott: actually, there are many, many more liberals who believe in social policies and healthcare here in the US than you would think. It’s just that the conservatives have the loudest voices and grab all the media attention with their antics. Sadly, that’s one of the many misconceptions that non-Americans have about Americans.

  3. triplinky says:

    Sound like you had a ‘life changing’ experience.

    I think you have made some great points about people around the world. Great photo’s too.
    PJ

  4. Garry says:

    Interesting. However, you need to change the photo on #13 before it makes it onto a fail blog.

  5. Khadijah says:

    One of the most important things (albeit the hardest) I’ve learned from traveling around the world (though not as extensive as yours) is to accept and tolerate global bathroom habits/customs.

    Bathroom habits are not universal.
    They are not negotiable.
    From using toilet papers, to using water, to squatting, to paying an entrance fee to public restrooms.
    From heated toilet seats that squirt water in Japan, to disposing of toilet paper in separate baskets in Greece.
    To be a citizen of the world, one must learn these things.

    Following that, I advise many women travelers from US to pack sufficient amount of tampons of the ‘sophisticated’ kind, if you’re used to them, as these are often not readily available in large parts of the world.

  6. Great post! I want to travel the world! I love your comment “I think the desire to explore and see new things is fundamental to the human experience.” So TRUE! Keep up the good work :-)

  7. Tracy says:

    Congrats! on distilling down the the essence of travel. And it is refreshing to read your observations. . . Thanks for dispelling the common misconceptions of what travel is about and what might be found in a “foreign land” Bringing this to the masses helps us to be more welcomed when we arrive back! 43 countries and counting!

  8. Steff says:

    Great article! It was forwarded to me by a friend, and that’s how I’ve found your blog. I’m in my early 20s and been blessed to visit over 50 cities in 15 countries. I completely agree that it will change your perspective completely – about people, culture, stereotypes, and what you really need in life. Happy traveling!!

  9. Phil says:

    Great read. Nothing but the truth! I find the internet bit surprisingly true myself. While the connection is not always the fastest, I’ve been able to easily find access in West Africa. Take care, Phil

  10. Syliva says:

    Hi there! This is a really nice post. Really nice. I have been travelling / living abroad now for nearly three years too and my perception of the world is very similar to yours. In fact the thing that I feel is the most pertinent is number 1 on the list: people are really nice. REALLY! Well, in South America at least! Thanks

  11. elif says:

    really, thank you, gary, for the wisdom! it was a pleasure to read.

  12. xplore4life says:

    Wonderful memory but I would like to mention your pics. Its really great for time.

  13. Joel says:

    Nice article. Maybe your next one won’t have to share a site with articles about magic water and similar BS.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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