How travel has changed my perception of the world

15 Apr

What was once a big planet to me has gotten smaller and smaller in my mind, and that’s a good thing. Travel has begun to truly change my perspective on the world, especially now that I’ve been traveling more frequently than I used to. Before I started solo traveling, I saw the world differently. It used to be that I saw the world as a gargantuan place full of many different exotic, far away lands. When we’d go on a trip somewhere overseas, I’d sometimes stop and marvel at the thought that I was thousands of miles from home. It was a new sensation. I felt like an explorer.

But now, I travel frequently. I’ve realized that the world is actually quite small. When I step off the plane, I feel like just one in seven billion making my way through my life, while the others who leave the plane make their way through theirs. When I go into a train station, I realize I am but one atom in the flow of the world’s people. I am but one of seven billion. I am making my way, doing my small but meaningful roles in a stage that fits 7 billion people. I look up to the sky. I see the same sun that I saw at home. I see that we are same species of people. We all have human body parts and faces, no matter what culture we are from. We live in a world where any one of these people can communicate with any other person as long as they have a computer. We live in the age of a global village.

I sometimes wonder what the future will bring. Will humanity colonize Mars and save ourselves from global warming? Will the world’s economies be stable? And I wonder, just how, in a few centuries time, how historians will look back on the lives of citizens like me. I wonder how this time will be remembered. But how this time is remembered in history doesn’t depend on what happens now. It depends on what happens next. If the technological progress of this time is used for good in the 21st century, my generation will be remembered well. And I hope that happens.

I try not to take the advantages of living in the 21st century developed world for granted. I try to be impressed every time I get off a plane. I always try to remember to remind myself that a less than a few centuries ago, the global interconnectedness of today is something few could have predicted. And I hope that I continue to travel and learn more about the world, and learn about its past, and improve its future. I feel more and more that Shakespeare’s quote below is very relevant, because we are all within reach of each other, as if we are all on but a stage. We are a connected, small, and fascinating world, and travel has helped my realize that more than anything else.

 

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts" -William Shakespeare


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