I just ran across one of the most awesome websites.
It is titled: 20 Things I've Learned from Traveling Around the World for Three Years
In my limited number of traveling experiences, yet more than the majority of people in my age group, I can relate quite well to most of the points. So, I am going to list the 20 points this website lists and explain my point of view from my experiences...
1. People are generally good
We all have the idea you have to be tough so that you don't get pushed around by stronger people. Relatively speaking.
Okay, but in my traveling, there are plenty of people willing to help you out, give you advice/ suggestions, and give something or some piece of information you don't have.
2. The media lies.
WOW. I can't tell you enough how much I can verify this. Hurricane Katrina is the first thing that comes to my mind. My whole childhood my dad, almost religiously, turned on the nightly news at 5:30pm as we sat down for dinner. I saw multiple times different disasters that affected the world, and U.S.. Every time I would say to my parents; "I want to go help." So when Katrina hit, I said to my parents; "This is it, this is big, I can help those people, I want to help those people.." My dad finally took me serious. As an assistant pastor of a big church, he pulled some strings and next thing I knew, I was spending my 2005 winter break (2006 New Years Eve) in New Orleans. I had been watching the news about New Orleans for about 3 months and thought I knew completely what to expect when I got down there. NO. NO. no. no no..You have no idea the feeling you get when you see a house marked with a symbol that someone had died inside, over and over. Here's an example:
Okay, anyways, the media never told stuff like this. The media only showed how angry people were at the lack of government help. I saw NUMEROUS people cry because they were so thankful we were there. I had NUMEROUS people come up to me as I was on Bourbon Street thanking us for what we were doing. What an awesome feeling. I'd do it again if I could. :)
Okay, so I got a little off topic, but point in case; media lies big time. Believe me.
3. The world is boring.
My brother has been to/lived in far more places than myself and he has told me SO many times; "anywhere you grow up, it's basically the same boring thing." Meaning: in high school, you watch movies, you hang out with the people you go to school with, you occasionally do something illegal. But in all comparison, basically the same.
As stated on the website I got this list from (as sited below) they say that unless something exceptional is happening; most of the world is pretty much as boring as your own neighborhood.
Did you know there is now a country with a smaller population than the Vatican City? Because I didn't. But nothing catastrophic has happened there, so there's no big deal to advertise it any time soon.
4. People don't hate Americans.
First answer the question; Why do so many foreigners live in America? If they "hated" us, chances are they wouldn't want to live here. Just my opinion though. As curious as we are about other countries, they are about the U.S...
5. Americans aren't as ignorant as you might think.
I don't think I can explain this section as well as the website I yanked this from. Soooo, read theirs, I promise, it's good.
6. Americans don't travel
I've lived in 6 different American cities by the time I was 14. Each of those 6 towns/cities, I was among the top for traveling and certainly moving. THAT'S JUST WITHIN THE U.S.! Let's not consider vacations to the Bahamas or Jamaica each year as actual travel. Although it is something different, they ARE tourist destinations and not quite the same as "raw" traveling. Besides the fact, a vacation of 2 weeks is almost unheard of now a days.
7. The rest of the world isn't full of germs.
This is controversial. Germs definitely depend on what you've been exposed to; which is different everywhere. We are not used to many things around the world which can cause different immune reactions, but who travels in a Hazmat suit? HahahahA; Only when I was in houses in New Orleans that had gas leaks or mold beyond reason. But lets be serious.
8. You don't need a lot of stuff.
I learned this when I was THIRTEEN!!!! (Granted I am now 20 and have A LOT of stuff; like the rest of America.) But I went on a 4 day backpacking adventure with my brother, and Dana Salah. Four days of need resting on my 100 pound body. Think about it. 4 days of shirts, pants, under ware, food, sleeping bag, etc.....that's a lot. Point is; it doesn't take everything in my house to survive. Let's be serious*.
9. Traveling doesn't have to be expensive.
Also something I learned at a young age. SURE, my family has probably traveled more than yours, but we never had a camper, we usually didn't stay in 5 star hotels, or hotels at all. We usually camped. We packed our own food, there's no need to "go out". We went to national landmarks. They have such a big history and are so fascinating, unlike most public beaches. (Thanks mom and dad--I hate admitting this.) And we drove everywhere....Back in the day driving was way cheaper than flying, and you got to see much more on your way to your destination.
10. Culture matters.
And you have to understand the culture of the places you are visiting and BE RESPECTFUL!! Everyone is proud of their culture, in some way. You might not agree, but be respectful?
11. Culture changes.
Say goodbye to stereotypes. Have an open mind to what something is going to be like, because chances are, it is not what you are expecting. ;)
12. Everyone is proud of where they are from.
If any Serbians are reading this right now; THANK YOU. You've taught me so much, especially you Dejo. My Serbian friends are SO proud of their history. They don't want to forget it. They don't want to conform. I don't blame them. It's who they are. And it makes me sad that I don't have as much amazing history as they do, or as they know.
I say I'm "from" Kansas. I will always cheer for Kansas teams :)
GO PACK GO; superbowl 45....I am proud to be living in Wisconsin this year, no doubt. ;)
13. America and Canada share a similar culture.
I've had multiple friends from Canada. I was honestly shocked when I was told where they were from, I had no idea. Hence the similarity. I've been to Canada. The speed limit throws me off a bit :-p
14. Most people have a deep desire to travel around the world.
Everyone has somewhere they want to go or experience. Even if it's just one place. But that's why the question; If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?, is such a hard question.
15. You can find the internet almost everywhere.
I have no experience on this. When I was in Canada, I wasn't thinking about the internet. When I was in Matamorous, Mexico I was banned from using technology because of my mission trip focus. Sabetha, Kansas does not support AT&T 3G I can tell you that. Refer to the site for a better response*.
16. In developing countries, government is usually the problem.
Take U.S. for example. ha
17. English is becoming universal.
PLEASE DON'T FORGET YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE. Please keep it. I hope my kids can be bi and tri-lingual. I wish I was. But this point scares me. Because of the story in the bible about the Tower of Babel. If you haven't read it; google it NOW!
18. Modernization is not Westernization.
Refer to fourhourworkweek.com. Cited below.
19. We view other nations by a different set of criteria than we view ourselves.
You view other people differently than you view yourself. Case in point.
20. Everyone should travel. ;)
This is no deep point. I believe I changed my best friends life from exposing her to different cultures. Who doesn't like a good "hands on" experience? It's the best way to learn and see for yourself.