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Why We Travel #5: To Connect with Our World

Europe

Part 5 of 5, this clip celebrates how, by traveling thoughtfully, we can connect with different cultures and end up building bridges rather than walls.

Complete Video Script

By traveling thoughtfully, we connect. Even for those of us who can only travel as a state of mind, travel can result in a deeper connection.

Travel connects us face to face with reality. It's not virtual. It's not through a viewfinder. Travel is candid, honest — being in the moment. In a world hungry for authenticity, we yearn for connection. Travelers connect with different cultures, different people. On the road strangers are just "friends we've yet to meet." Travel frees us from routine. It creates room for serendipity; serendipity leads to connections. Travel forces us to bend, and to flex. It makes us more tolerant and inspires us to celebrate diversity.

The lessons I've gained from exploring Europe — the land of my heritage — are universal. For me, these lessons are affirmed, and then stretched, when travelling farther afield. As a child ventures beyond his backyard, I ventured beyond Europe. Year after year, I pushed my boundaries. The world opened wide with a montage of wonders and lessons learned. Traveling beyond my comfort zone, culture shock became constructive. The growing pains of a broadening perspective — my ethnocentrism challenged. The celebration of difference and oneness at the same time, the recognition that love is love in their home just as in mine.

Through travel we see a world filled with joy, with compassion, and with good people. We learn the more we reach out, the more we receive. We learn that we all share the same world, and we all share the same window of time. Travelers seek bridges rather than walls. Every wall has two sides, and two narratives; for one to be truly understood, both must be heard. Traveling, we realize the challenges of our future will be blind to borders and best overcome not by conflict and walls, but by community, and bridges. There's so much fear these days. The flip side of fear? It's understanding, and we gain understanding when we travel.

Travel is more than a holiday. It gives us new experiences, acts as our greatest teacher, makes our lives more meaningful, and connects us with a global family. We can't all travel physically, but anyone can live with a traveler's mindset. It's a choice. Travel makes us more comfortable with the world, our hearts bigger, and our lives richer. And it makes us happier. And that is why we travel.