I had the good fortune of being exposed to numerous cultures and countless history lessons while growing up, and because of this, I think I was given the opportunity to see the world from many different perspectives. Now in my 30s, I continue to travel and expose myself to as much of the world as I can. Whether it's close to home or in the middle of nowhere in a remote corner of the planet, there are cultures and traditions worth experiencing and memories waiting to be born.
When you first embark on a quest, whether it's one of curiosity or one of travel, you start to notice that there are two different breeds of people. The first of the two consists of those that like to stay close to home and are either afraid of or have no desire to experience the world beyond what they've become accustomed to. They stay within their bubble and if they do happen to venture out, they appear uncomfortable and remain tethered to home in one form or another. If and when they travel, they tend to stick to all the typical sites found in a travel guide and never venture out to experience real local culture. If they're in New York they'll visit the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London, etc . . . and they'll eat at major chain restaurants which they probably frequent back home. This is an extremely boring way to travel and see the world, yet when these people return to their homes they will speak of their experience as if it were really exciting, while recommending the same trip to everyone they talk to. The reality behind this kind of travel and this breed of individual is that they really aren't trying to learn anything new because they lack true curiosity and have no interest in experiencing local life. They enjoy telling people where they've been, even though in most cases they know nothing about those places. Instead of exposing themselves to new experiences, they bring what they know with them on their journey and return home as the same uninteresting person they were when they first set out.
The other breed consists of the more adventurous types. This doesn't mean they're roaming around the globe seeking near death experiences, this just means they're comfortable being uncomfortable and willing to immerse themselves in whatever it is they're doing. If they travel somewhere new, even if only for a day, they live there for that day. They don't visit a place, they make it their home for the duration. People of this breed make new lifelong friends wherever they go. When I cross paths with one of these individuals I immediately notice something different, yet familiar. It's as if we both were part of the same fraternity or grew up in the same town. Although we may have never met before, we feel an instant connection. The reason for this is because we're both part of what I'll call the Global Society. People that are members instantly recognize each other without saying a word. Even though we may have spawned from different corners of the globe, our roots are embedded everywhere. Some people that are part of this worldwide club may have never traveled a day in their life, but they possess an inquisitive nature and desire that expands their horizon beyond where the sun sets. It's always refreshing to stumble upon such individuals and share stories while at the same time adding another chapter to your own captivating autobiography. When parting ways you both feel like you've learned something new and know that you've made a friend for life, a friend that will most likely relate to you more than most of the friends you grew up with. The Global Society is the closest thing you'll find to a utopia, it's a place where race, religion, and politics have no relevance.
Members of the Global Society are some of the wealthiest people you'll ever meet, regardless of the monetary value of all their assets or what they have in the bank. These individuals are a wealth of knowledge and experience. These people keep you humble and modest and constantly remind you to ditch the blinders and look at the world with eyes wide open.