"The real discovery trip does not consist in finding new lands but in getting new eyes"
Cultural Travel expands our world. By immersing ourselves in a community we begin accepting and enjoying its unique offerings. The excitement is in the friendships made and in the stories shared. Cultural travel is good for budgets. It costs less to go directly to our host for services, and this money is diffused directly into the local economy, building sustainable living and helping everyone in the community to “rise up” and benefit from our ethical travel.
In a different culture we can get "a whack on the side of our heads" which opens our eyes and minds to new ways of thinking and doing. Every culture has much to share. We can learn if we “suspend disbelief” about cultural practices and walk forward with eyes and hearts open. This promotes cultural understanding. To do this is a conscious decision. Cultural travel is a series of peaks and valleys. We try to be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something is not to our liking, we change our liking.
Photo of Renny at Reach Falls, Jamaica.
As our globe is ever-shrinking, cultural understanding becomes increasingly important. We are one world village with six billion equally important villagers. It is an important lesson for each of us to learn respect for the whole village.
Cultural travel destroys ethnocentrism. It builds understanding and appreciation of different cultures. It builds global friendships.
There are perils and pearls to cultural travel. We are bringing more than goods when we go. We are sharing attitudes, showing an abundant lifestyle, perhaps changing expectations on what one needs and values, etc, etc. It is hard to even imagine the ramifications, good and bad. But the best we can do is try to do good with a pure heart and as much wisdom as we can manage.
Cultural travel changes our perspective on life.