For nearly 25 years now, I have been fortunate enough to have a career(s) that includes travel. Be in local, interstate, or international the chance to travel offers up a limitless amount of opportunity when it comes to furthering your career, expanding your world-view, and developing an understanding and appreciation of other cultures around this big rock we call home.
One of my first trips overseas was to the Middle East (ME) at the age of 19. The Middle East we see today in 2016, was not the place I saw back in 1991. Whilst there has been conflict throughout the region since the end of WWII, it is simply to narrow-minded to say the whole ME is a basket case. Looking past the western media, you will find a variety of cultures (no not all ME countries are the same) underpinned by human beings! Forget the self-righteous attacks on religion and for-profit degrading of its people; the ME offers a wondrous experience for those who are willing to leave their rose-coloured glasses at home and experience a place rich in history, in innovation, and different (not better, not worse) to how much of the west portrays.
The next ten years had me in and out of the United States multiple times, the ME, South-East Asia, Europe and even South America, some for pleasure, some work. With each destination offering a new experience and as time passed, a pathway to develop an expanding world-view, I knew that travel was to be engrained in who I am and how my opinions of the world would be shaped.
Step face-first into the twenty-first century and it wouldn’t be long before the world changed forever with the 9/11 attacks. The impact this would have on travel is still felt today. Those attacks have divided us, have made us connect more closely than ever, and have turned some governments into the very thing they try to fight. To be absolutely clear, terrorism has absolutely nothing to do with Islam. It has everything to do with extremism. A short history lesson should make that perfectly clear if of course you are able to remain objective.
Since 2010 I have been to New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Germany, Italy, the UAE, South Africa, Canada, and around Australia multiple times. Still after so much influence, my point remains the same. Get out and see the world, don’t become a couch/online expert of people, cultures, and places you have never actually seen or experienced. Travel really is a joy to behold.
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