Traveling is one of my favourite things to do. It is one of the best forms of education – you learn first hand about other cultures, foods, politics, religions and social mores; in true context. Instead of repeating what I’ve stated in other posts about travel, I’ve taken the following from a piece I wrote nine years ago, 2010 – It’s Your Year. Do You. No Apologies; because my views on travel haven’t changed. Albeit, when you are young and believe yourself to be invincible, your adventures and the chances you take are different. When I look back, I think to myself, hmmm, I must have had an angel looking out for me. And now, although it is still important for me to have a real sense of the community I’m visiting I’m way more conscious of the safety and security of where I lay my head at night. I suppose that comes about because as you get older you become more aware of the things that could go wrong and your susceptibility. Not to mention comfort and luxury of a rated hotel over a youth hostel is a great deal more appealing at this point in my life.
Excerpt from It’s 2010 – Do You. No Apologies.
Bullet point number two: Travel – I wanted to visit the various countries of the world but not as a tourist, staying on resorts and barely leaving the compound. How was one to learn about a culture and its people on a resort that caters to the guests? It never made sense to me, a resort in Timbuktu was the same as a resort in Cuba. I wanted to live in different countries and learn about the culture, the people, the politics. I knew I couldn’t visit all the countries in the world let alone truly experience them in this way, so I selected two that were close to me – two places that are linked to my ancestry by way of Jamaica: Africa and China.
And so I joined an organization (Canadian Crossroads International) that allowed me to live and work for three months while experiencing life as a local. I went to Kenya during a summer break from university, which opened my eyes to many things…too many to mention. Suffice to say when I went back to school I was an eager participant in my classes, especially those focused on politics and women studies. Other political systems were not just theory to me, I actually lived in and witnessed first hand a different political influence and dogma. Later on in my twenties I went to Korea and taught English; and although not China I did get to Asia. I also visited Israel for two weeks where I walked the path of Jesus. My thirties began with me living in Atlanta for two years.
I’ve visited other countries and islands, I didn’t have the luxury of living in these places but made the best of it by meeting and eating and visiting with the local people: Dominica, St. Barts, St. Martin, Grenada, St. Lucia, Spain, Morocco, Gibralter, Cuba, USA (California, Florida, Georgia, New York, Texas, New Orleans, Ohio, Michigan) and of course Jamaica. I have many more to visit (still would like to get to China) …and a few I’ve saved for my honeymoon – Greece, Seychelles and the Maldives. I must admit as I got older the luxuries of a resort were more welcoming, my spirit was still adventurous but I thought how many times do you have to stay in a hostel to know what it feels like (been there done that!).I’ve been to a few more places since that excerpt was written and still have many more on my list to check off my list.