How was traveling affected your openness to other cultures, politics and events?

I got an email recently from a senior in high school (in Newark, Illinois) doing a research project on the topic of traveling and the effect that experiencing different cultures has on a person, and I agreed to answer a few questions.

There are 7 questions, and my goal is to answer one a day for the next week. The first question:

How was traveling affected your openness to other cultures, politics and events?

Quite simply, those who haven’t traveled are living under a shell.

Hanging off truck in Africa

Prior to embarking on my first trip abroad in 2005 — I had no freaking clue how the majority of the world lived. I thought life in Sammamish (20 minutes east of Seattle) was “normal”.

Boy, was I wrong.

If you are even reading this in the first place, you are living a very privileged life. The vast majority of the world doesn’t live the way we do. Basic items such as food, shoes, television, shelter, and water are not guaranteed — they are luxuries for much of the world’s population. I’ve written a few posts along these lines HERE and HERE.

One easy example of the difference is transportation in Africa (Ghana). Hanging off the back of a truck in Ghana with 5 other people, and 15 people inside? You’d never dream of doing such a thing in the United States. Well, that’s “normal” in Ghana.

In short, I am exponentially more open to foreign cultures, politics, and events as a result of traveling.

Add any thoughts you have on this subject in the comments, por favor.


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Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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