Monthly Archives: April 2011
Seeing Things For Yourself: Another Reason To Travel
I told him I was American and his face lit up.
He said he had been to American many years ago as part of a musical group he was a member of. They toured the midwest playing Czech music in cities like Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, Omaha, Milwaukee and Chicago. He was excited to tell me about how much he enjoyed America and how well he was treated by Americans.
He also went out of his way to tell me how much Americans were different from what the Communists told him. He offered to help me if I needed anything while I was in Budweis as a token of thanks for the kindness he received in America.
There is a lesson about traveling that I took away from the old Czech man on the bike:
You have to see things yourself. What he had been told about Americans by his government he had seen with his own eyes to be wrong. I’ve experience the same thing in the Middle East meeting Arabs. You can’t rely on what people in positions of authority tell you about the rest of the world. You have to see it for yourself and odds are what you see will not be the same was what you were told.
This is just one of the many reasons why you need to travel.
I have no idea what happened during that man’s trip to America, but whatever happened lead to him treating me nice in a random encounter in a Czech town square years later. I’m glad he was able to visit my country and I’m glad I was able to visit his.
Monday’s Links for Curious People
Surfing the Internet so you don’t have to. Thanks once again to injured curator Jodi Ettenberg.
- Inside Mount Athos, the holiest place in Orthodox Christianity. CNN
- Hawaii considering a law which will make guidebook authors liable for people who get injured taking their advice. Wall Street Journal
- The US State Department wants to make it harder (if not impossible) to get a passport. Consumer Traveler
- Racial segregation at Carnival in Brazil Brendans Adventures
- War photographers react to deaths in Libya LA Times
- Language, culture and context are intertwined Fluent In 3 Months
- How to get difficult visas Ottsworld
- The New Cold War: Saudi Arabia and Iran Wall Street Journal
- More on the last two speakers of Ayapaneco London Review of Books
- 10 year’s of National Geographic’s photo of the day I’m only 7 years behind!
- Moonset over Rio NASA
- Street food safety in Asia Zester Daily
- The best smoothie lady in Chiang Mai CNN