Benjamin Franklin once said that “Traveling is one way of lengthening life.” Ol’ Ben was a curious fellow, never content with not knowing. Ben knew that staying in your tiny corner of the world wasn’t conducive to realizing humanity’s full potential. But it wasn’t just travel for travel’s sake that was important. Traveling, for him, was a method of learning. He was a very hands-on man, never satisfied with just reading about something; he wanted to do it himself to test it out. And he knew that other peoples around the world did things differently and could thus, perhaps, offer some insight into Life. But of course, he wasn’t all work and no play. Ben loved traveling – and he loved the women more so. And the women of France loved him back.
So, I think Ben’s curiosity about the world is why I love him so much. Well, that and there’s the other great quote that he left for us: “Beer is living proof that God wants us to be happy.”
I’m not comparing myself to the greatness of Benjamin Franklin, but what I do share with him is that I, too, am curious. And I love to travel.
In the beginning of my academic career, it became very clear that I was going to have to open my mind and work with other ideas, cultures, and ways of life if I were to ever begin understanding the world around me. Traveling was one way of opening the mind for me. But it is not the only way. All you really need to do is willingly go outside of your comfort zone to look at the world, and more importantly, yourself.
Along my way, I’ve come across many interesting ideas, facts, and stories, and since I’ve had the luxury of being a student, I’ve had time to ponder a lot. Perhaps I’m just like the multitude of others out there with blogs, egotistical enough to think that people will want to read what I have to say. But alas, I am a story teller. And in a world where I can type something, and someone sitting at a desk 6,000 miles away can read it instantly, the idea of a wider audience for my stories is quite tantalizing.
I’ve found salvation in the eyes of a Mayan child, and I’ve felt a chill run down my spine while standing at Hitler’s podium.
These are my ramblings.