I travel because I can. I’m lucky. I am privileged. There is no ban for me (yet). I was born in the ‘right’ country, with a useful passport, no persecuted religion to identify with, no war. Total freedom to roam.
I won the global postcode lottery. I did nothing to earn the privilege of landing on earth in a useful place. Our paths are mapped depending on the geographical location our baby bodies land. I am grateful. If any countries, religions or races should be held travel hostage, for atrocities against humanity then we should look a little closer to home.
I travel because I’m curious. I’m always searching for the truth. This sometimes involves travelling to countries that I don’t share the same values or views as. At times it means exploring lands where I fiercely oppose what is happening there. Why? Because how can you understand anything, and have a valid opinion if you don’t experience a situation.
Meet the people, see how they live, listen and learn. We live in an era where media biases are morphing into fake news. We travel to experience reality.
I travel because the world is changing. Climate change is not an ‘alternative fact’. Our planet is a beautiful place. We want to explore every corner of it. The oceans, the mountains and the forests all nourish our souls. We live better when we are harmonious with nature.
We strive to go ‘off the beaten track’, the more untouched the better. Most of us don’t want to hurt our beautiful planet. But denying our impact on the world is blinkered. It’s real!
Travelling is an invitation to learn about religion. It’s often so open, with ceremonies in the street, shrines by the roadside and spirit offerings on the pavement. I’m agnostic, so I observe, listen and ask questions. I’ll keep asking questions as I want to understand it all.
In many cases I don’t agree with individual’s values. Equality (I believe) is a fundamental human right. But, within each religion there are many interpretations. So writing off an entire religion through the actions of a minority is unjust. Education must be the answer.
This article was adapted for the Huffington Post, have a read.