FOMO Travel: Learning to be a Conscientious Traveler

October 23, 2019

 

I love travel.  The way it changes you, molds you into something more.  

 

In high school I was obsessed with nailing all 50 states and since I had some weird idea in my mind I'd die by age 28, I needed to get busy.

 

I would take as many road trips as I could muster the money for gas and look for loopholes of cost by staying with people I knew.

 

When I traveled overseas to Ireland in junior high, I was one of the first in my class to do this and it made me feel special, like I had something none of the others did.

 

Travel became more about ego and escape then curiosity and adventure.  I was one of those people who would be in a conversation and "trip drop."

 

You know the ones.

 

You're talking about a great cup of coffee and they interject, "The best coffee ever is in the..."

 

Obnoxious, yes.  I'm guilty.

 

I felt travel set me apart in a sea of sameness.  I used it to make myself feel better and to conquer.  I gave little thought to the people or places I was visiting.  I feared missing out.

 

 Enlisting in the Peace Corps altered my entire approach and intent to travel.

 

Cultured in understanding the people of Ecuador, I started to see my arrogance and lack of respect.

 

You can only do better, when you know better.

Travel is less about the fear of missing out now.  Instead I voyage to learn, grow, explore, and connect.

 

This past year I had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines for my brother's wedding.

 

I learned my misconceptions and beliefs in the place and people were wrong.  Built on faulty information.  Things heard and seen on American media.

 

Empathy is the awakening.

 

Sometimes I have the opportunity to experience it, which seems to solidify knowledge for me, but if I learn to empathize, the journey is only the distance from the head to the heart.

 

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