Thursday, July 17, 2008

Get Lost

Frozen drinks with little umbrellas have their place - usually involving a white-sand beach. But when inveterate wanderer Hans Christian Andersen wrote "To roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live," he didn't mean cruise ships and high-walled resorts. Vacations are nice, but they're not the same thing as traveling: wandering through marketplaces, sampling food of indeterminate origin, and, most important, meeting new people. It's an old-fashioned but effective way to remind us that we're all in this together. Certainly, we would all be better off right now if a few people in the Pentagon had spent a little more time drinking tea with locals in Iraq.
This doesn't require a transcontinental flight - a New Yorker could learn as much from a trip to Kansas as to India. All we require is a willingness to break out of the bubbles most of us live in, to be shocked and moved and a little bit scared. Don't worry, you can grab that umbrella drink next time.
Until next time,