The Case for Travel by Travis Heppe

Topic: Travel

I worry. I worry that the numbskulls in higher offices in countries all over the world haven’t yet figured out just how devastating war is to human progress. It all follows a predictable cycle: hardship to jealousy to bigotry to xenophobia to nationalism to war.

The antidote is education, and there is no better education than personal experience.

I wish I could convince everyone in this country to do two things once in their lives:

1) spend a few days in a Muslim country (they’re not as fanatical as you’ve been led to believe); and
2) visit China.

Given that there are so many worthy places to visit, you might wonder why I single out these two. It’s because the numbskulls have set their sights on those regions. If there is to be a major war in the coming decades, it will probably involve China or a Muslim country.

If you take the time to see the world through their eyes–or even better, learn their language–you will strengthen the belief that they are, just like us, regular folks using their time on earth to figure out what it means to be human. With that, you will have seeded the inner courage to fight whatever version of xenophobia aspires to grab power in this country.

The next time you are booking travel, skip the Club Med resort with the double digit piƱa coladas. Forget about the culturally bankrupt cruise going nowhere in particular. Don’t fall for Las Vegas, where MGM Grand has perfected the art of separating tourists from their money. Seriously consider booking a trip to Tangiers, Istanbul or Shanghai.

Be respectful. Be humble. Be courteous. You will have made the world a better place.

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