How Traveling will make World a better Place

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Every bird should have its sky!

Every bird should have its sky!

I was born in the USSR, on the other side of the iron curtain, in isolation, surrounded by enemies. White spot on the map in the knowledge of Western world, but it was largely perceived that in USSR people were hostile and life was tough. The same was true all the way around: Soviet people were persuaded that Uncle Sam hates us and dreams about erasing the country from the earth surface. And capitalistic countries’ citizens share his ideas. I think majority of Soviet people questioned the latter, and not because they were so nice, but simply because the very fact of American existence was rather a myth, a communistic version of hell. Did someone go there and saw it with his very eyes? No, so even if America existed, after all it was as irrelevant, as life on Mars. Yes, these guys may dream to conquer us one day, but as for now they did not show up – so let’s better care about something useful, for example what can we watch today from the theater.
More than 20 years ago Soviet Union collapsed, and the rests of Cold War were finally buried under its ruins. Travelling out became permitted, and later even common and affordable for an average person. Later the technology provided us with an opportunity to connect with the whole world. We started going around for studies, job or pleasure with frequency nobody could imagine 20 years ago and even staying home we can chat with, let’s say, Vietnam or Brasilia. My mom when she came to visit me in London first of all ran to the Tower. Why? As she told when she as a little girl studied English in school she could not even dream she may see Tower one day. The moon was more probable due to the advanced Soviet space program.
Thus, traveling became available for people from my Motherland and stopped being elite pleasure for selected only in general. That is truly pleasurable, but I believe it will led to something more, than only nice time spending.
Ironically enough, before those selected who could afford the travel were rich, influential and in many cases they were involved in politics. So basically they were the voice, transferring the opinions to masses: if they had told, let’s say so, Americans were idiots – who would have questioned them? They have been in America; they have seen Americans. All Soviet are underdeveloped and live in forest – yes, because no one from ordinary people went to Soviet Union to check. Now people who have travelled a while would hardly trust a single word of politic propaganda of any type: just as we visited many places ourselves and luckily we have a bunch of international friends, whom we can call and ask about what is going on there in your country? Without any doubts, we became more open-minded and more knowledgeable, thus less easy to manipulate and press. And I hope more human, as after all you see that people are the same in their core in every corner of the world.
But if we look at it in a long-term perspective, the very popular political tool of generalizing nations under one umbrella term, like Soviet – dangerous, Chinese – slaves, Americans – money-fixed etc. – will loose a lot in its power also because of… multiethnic couples! My partner is Italian, and I doubt our kids will think that there is nothing but mafia in Sicily and nothing but vodka in Russia. As we live in UK, neither will they have wicked ideas about this or any other country they will grow in. Moreover, at my partners job every couple is multiethnic, and he works with around 30 people. The very notion of nation in its aggressive, superior form of we-are-better-than-they becomes obsolete.
Moreover, one of the fundamental distinctive features of a nationality is language. But the younger generations start learning English from the early ages, and perceive it as almost a mother tongue; so many people use English at work on everyday basis or while traveling that we indeed are more cosmopolitan nowadays.
I trust in humanity and the common sense of people, and I am sure that all these changes will facilitate the better world. I trust, that the very notion of the Cold War is not relevant anymore, because it is not “we” against “them” anymore, it is “we” against “us”. Just imagine, how much money could be saved not producing another, more powerful atomic bomb and how much we accomplish with this money: we can cure the diseases, fight the starvation, give education for those who can’t afford it… All we need after all is to be more human and more open.
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15 thoughts on “How Traveling will make World a better Place

  1. Interestingly, I took Russian since junior high, and every other year the 11th and 12th graders (top – or last – two levels in American education) went to the USSR. So my brothers and I all went, and the people were fabulous. You can never believe what you read!

    • You know, this year I went to a hospital in Russia and started speaking with a lady in the cloakroom. Her grandson wanted very much to go to study abroad, and I told that I just came from America, where people “despite what we may think” are very very nice and friendly. And she looked at me with surprise and answered: “but we don’t think anything bad about them”. I was happy to hear it. She was still from a Soviet Union generation

  2. Beth Johnson

    Traveling does broaden the mind and open the heart. I have traveled in almost every state of the 50 in the USA. I have traveled in twenty-one other nations and lived in five. Everywhere I have found beautiful people doing their best to live for the highest good.

    • Thank you for your support, I totally agree. In my trips I met so many people who were kind, caring and helped me when I even did not ask for – I guess my travels keep my trust in humanity alive

  3. Hi!
    I really liked what you’ve written jn your post and agree with it completely! It made me think of India and its progress in the 67 years of independence. We have really achieved a lot. However, we’re still subject to racism and stereotype. Here’s hoping that changes soon.

    • Well, I am sorry to say so, but I meet quite often British people who still live in the Empire. I just sincerely want to remind them that the empire collapsed quite a long time ago, it a good moment to adjust. So there are certain people, not the best ones, for whom Indians, Russians, Arabic and actually all, who are not from their cultural background will be “dirty”. It will change, the only thing needed is that those other cultures behave accordingly. I know a lot of Russians who after two weeks are so European, so European, what can you do with them

  4. Hello, I’ve noticed your thoughtful posts on Blogging 101 several times now, but never got the courage up to post to your blog. Since we are now challenged to do so, I finally do. I really like your blog, and your comments about travelling are spot on. I’ve been traveling quite a bit in the past, and through these experience sbecame a lot more understanding and hopefully welcoming towards people who visit my own country. With goodwill and effort, understanding is possible. But you have to want it, it won’t come by itself.

    • Oh, I know this feeling – I was always scared to be kicked out if I am taking too much attention on other’s people blog 🙂
      Yes, unfortunately I agree – you have to look for it, it won’t drop on you. “Typical Milanese” colleagues of my bf told after their honeymoon trip from Thailand to Australia that everything was great, but “there were too many black Chinese”. Wow, after years of studying international relations I had no clue that there is ethnicity like this 🙂 The best way is to laugh in these people’s face, because being so snobbish the worse punishment you can get if when someone laugh at you in public and say you are ignorant. 🙂

      • Oh indeed. I’m way past middle age and still get shocked when people react so… prejudiced. I really got mad at a colleague once who called Asian people slit-eyes. She was surprised in turn about my anger and told me that we are called by them ‘long-noses’. I told her that was no good excuse to tell them names in return, and years later she still remembered that, so maybe someone learns something when we complain. I’m going to refer to your travel post later for my Blogging101 entry if you don’t mind. I’ve encountered similar themes on other blogs and want to combine them in my post.

      • It will be a honor for me 🙂 Yesterday we had an office meeting in my newspaper and CEO told: well I know you still think that Russian are all mafia people but she is not like this (about the publisher of the Russian newspaper). And here the question arise: have somebody EVER met MAFIA Russian men? I mean EVER? Me – no. Why this idiotic stereotypes on even high level, among people with good education?

  5. I thought I was the only one having cheesy hope about how travelling can make people open up but I am glad they are other traveller thinking the same! I think to travel is often think as something quite individualistic when it’s a choice that basically you go somewhere else to have a better life, however we don’t always think of what immigrants bring with them. Those differences are the thing that can make you grow. Personally my travels thaught me so much more than anything in school and I spent 18 years in school!

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