I love to wander, although in fairness I no longer wish to wander alone. When you are traveling alone the world is different than when you are focused on traveling with family. In part, you spend time thinking about different things. You focus on the trip, the business and what you have to do when you arrive. You find yourself focused more on yourself. I used to, when in Europe or Asia, always try to call home twice a day. It didn’t always work. When in Europe it was really important to remember the time difference. When Asia it was less difficult. If I called at 7 am in Asia, it was 7 pm in the US. The family was done with dinner and settling in for an evening of homework or TV.
In Europe because of the time difference, I often had to call around noon, or 1 pm (lunch) as that was the early morning in the US. The evening in Europe was the early afternoon in the US. It was more difficult, but we still managed to accomplish that. It was the goal we set for trading. When you travel with a family you don’t have to worry about those calls. The one thing I do miss about traveling back in the day is my phone. The only people that knew I was out of the country were the people that if they called I knew regardless of the time of day it was critical. Everyone else went to voicemail. Now everyone goes to voicemail other than either my sisters or my mother. The rest of the family is with me not calling!
Traveling can be a wonderful thing. When you see the world, you expand your view not just of here and now, but of what is around you. You are open to more experiences. It becomes less about nationality and more of a global perspective. I know, have traveled both as a tourist and as a business person, and I have learned two really important lessons.
- Everyone is a tourist if they are not in their country.
- No culture is better than any other culture.
I have, as an American been berated by a French Cab Driver. I have also given a tip to a cab driver in France, that caused them to tear up. Europeans don’t tip the way we do in the US or Canada. It reminds me every time I travel that the difference is only the place. The people are the same. I find that we are more similar than we are different.
We are people, and that should help us all see we are different but the same.
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