While travel doesn't always have to be some deep, purposeful event, it often can be.
Pico Iyer, one of my all time favorite travel writers (and writers in general), summed up what he believes the experience of travel should be like, and I think he's right on the money.
“I take very seriously the sense of our living these days in a global neighborhood. And the first sensible thing to do in such circumstances, as well as one of the most rewarding things, is to go and meet the neighbors, find out who they are, and what they think and feel. So travel for me is an act of discovery and of responsibility as well as a grand adventure and a constant liberation.”
For some reason, I've always remembered this one lesson in my fourth grade social studies class, when we learned about indentured servants. These were people from Europe who couldn't afford passage across the Atlantic Ocean, so in exchange for the trip, these people were held in servitude for seven years (or more) upon arriving in the colonies to pay off their debt. Thinking about that in comparison to today, that's quite a hefty price tag to pay. I mean if I counted the number of times I've traveled across the Atlantic Ocean so far, either to the US or to Europe, I would owe at a minimum 105 years of service--that's more than the average lifetime and for those people back then, probably more than two lifetimes.
Its quite the privilege we've been given. And I think, as Pico Iyer states, there is some responsibility attached in learning about the people we encounter. Probably in a much deeper way than I've been able to do so far, but I think its a noble goal for this generation of jet-setters and global wanderers.
So wishing you all a lifetime of discovery and grand adventure where ever you are in the world.