The Value of Travel (& Reading)

“Travel has taught me the fun in having my cultural furniture rearranged and my ethno-centric self awareness walloped.” – Rick Steves in Travel as a Political Act

I really haven’t traveled as much as I’d like.  The most exotic place I’ve been in the last 7 years is Seattle–not a huge cultural shift from Minneapolis.  I sometimes daydream about really getting away to someplace that might rearrange me a bit, but my travel plans are likely to stay vicarious in the near future.

For me, no vicarious journey illustrates Steves’ quote above better than Ariel Gore’s memoir of her time as a teen in China and Europe, Atlas of a Human Heart.   As a mother, it is hard to imagine allowing my sixteen-year-old to drop out of school and travel to the other side of the world by herself, but, in all honesty, I lost myself in her adventures and wondered if I hadn’t been rather rearranged by them myself.

What travel experiences (or books) have left you feeling differently about the world?  

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