Today I am deeply saddened and angered by the news of another terrorist attack that took the innocent lives of some of our brothers and sisters in Christchurch New Zealand. As someone who just can’t understand hate I’m left wondering once again how such a tragedy could happen. I’m truly perplexed at what has been going on in the world, particularly over the last couple of years. With such senseless events I am reminded that my solo travels have shown me that this is not who we are as humans. Travelling solo has shown me that we live in a highly connected, multicultural world. Wherever you go people are kind, friendly, helpful and peaceful regardless of their social, religious or ethnic backgrounds. It’s our shared values that bring us together in solidarity when human and natural disasters occur.
Travelling solo to learn about others
I’ve been extremely blessed and privileged to have been able to find the ways and means to travel the world. I’ve been privileged to be welcomed in countries very different from my own. I’ve been lucky to visit countries where people from different ethnic backgrounds and religions live side by side. Places where you see mosques sit beside churches or temples. I’ve been many places where the colour of my skin, hair and eyes is very different from those who live there. I’ve learned so much about how people live, different cultures and languages. My solo travel has not only taught me about others it’s reinforced to me that wherever I go people are really just like me.
Travelling the world solo allows you to learn about our shared human experience. Wherever you go you learn that people love their families and friends. They are making a living to put roofs over their heads and feed themselves. People interact with solo travellers to learn about them too. I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with people from all over the world where they’ve asked me about where I’m from and found common ground in our values and life experiences. I’ve felt the bonds of sisterhood with other women, through shared experiences as a mother and grandmother.
Solo travel helps you understand our sameness and at the same time allows us to celebrate our differences. What a boring place the world would be without different cultures and religions. Learning about our differences helps us appreciate others. Solo travel helps you do this. When you travel on your own you rely on local people to help you out. This is how you learn the kindness of people who you might consider different.
The very recognition of our shared experiences, values and interconnectedness, demands we stand together in tragedy and stand up against hate. The more you travel the more you understand others, but they get to understand you too.
To my brothers and sisters in Christchurch, my thoughts and love are with you.
Nous Somme the World
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