30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 17

17. A quote you try to live by

Does “Do your fucking job?” count?

Okay, then. Here’s one I take to heart:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

       –Mark Twain

If you know me at all, you know I love to travel. I could list about a million reasons why, but one big guiding force is a desire to see a different viewpoint. Travel helps us not only to see new things, but to see old ones through fresh eyes. We gain new perspective. We see that our way isn’t the only way and isn’t necessarily the best way. We meet those people over there, and they become not a stereotype, but rather living, breathing human beings with whom we share many more commonalities than differences. Even when there are differences, we can appreciate them. I love how Italians dress nicely for even basic shopping and sound like they’re arguing even when they’re not. How Croatians abhor lines and rarely smile at strangers, but will treat you like long-last family as soon as you get to know them a little. How Scots flock outdoors at the slightest hint of sunshine. How New Yorkers are convinced the live in the center of the universe and Midwesterners can’t imagine why people would live anywhere else.

Travel also erases out prejudices about ourselves. We learn what we can tolerate, what we’re truly capable of.

And travel delights us with surprises large and small.

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