As I look back on all the travel we have done in our life time, it is clear that I cannot think of any thing that has provided more of an education to us.
One of the key trips that we every took was to London with our kids. They were High School/Jr High School age and it was their first time out of the United States. We rented a flat in the heart of London and we have so many memories of the things that we did and learned. In fact, after a few days in London, they were able to take off on their own on the “tube” and explore London. They learned from that trip that they were capable of traveling anywhere they wanted. And boy have they taken advantage of that as adults.
Our last trip a few months ago was to France. It was one of the greatest trips we had as the people treated us so well and we learned so much. Our trip to the Normandy Beaches to see how much our troops gave up in the second world war was very emotional.
When the Islamic terrorists went on their murderous rampage in Paris, it was especially painful for us as both shootouts were within walking distances from where we stayed or visited. The French people watched their police fight and die to protect them and now look in wonder at the anti-police marches in the US.
So much about travel is perception. We dressed like the French, learned some of their language, treated them with respect. They responded in kind. We saw a few Americans in France with backpacks, treating the locals with disrespect and they were not treated like we were. Perception: Missed a huge opportunity the other day to have the people of Europe perceive that the United States support them in the fight against the Islamic terrorists.
Our visit from family this week was a joy. That family is a great traveling group. Good planners, not afraid to try new things even driving the infamous LA freeway at night in their rental car. I love the pictures where their kids were enjoying the sunset over the Pacific ocean and the visit to the SoCal mountains. A trip that will help educate them in a positive way for the rest of their life.
Travel: The great educator.