Throughout the course of my life, I have had the opportunity to travel to various parts of the US and abroad. These travels have afforded me a wealth of knowledge and experiences that shape my world view. Without travel my understandings would be limited to my preferences and my biases and confirmed by my assumptions.
When I travel, what frightens me and thrills me the most is the sense of strangeness I feel in unfamiliar places. I begin again. My understandings become frail myths and the journey to being, begins again. Being a stranger avails me to the gift of autonomy where I do not presume to know or be known by my surrounding and fellow inhabitants. My strangeness gives me license to ask, inquire and the privilege to be taught. Traveling keeps me honest in a way that I believe the comforts of my present life do not. My normal routine shelters me from misunderstanding and discomfort. I do not need to reach far to find understanding or comfort when I am surrounded by people, places, and things that speak my language and share my same values.
Becoming a stranger is my way of gaining perspective on my own reality. By stepping outside my construct of life I am able to see my weaknesses, rejoice over my blessings, and create goals for my life that allow me to not only be a better person but a better friend to the world. Traveling keeps me honest and gives me the ability to see clearly in a convoluted world.