As our departure is moving ever so closer, I have been pondering what kind of world we may find. After Britain voted to Brexit, the US chose Trump and Western European countries also showing signs of populism, there is clearly a tide of nationalism sweeping the world. Will we discover that a city in Asia is like a city in Europe which is like a city in North America? Is the East really as far apart from the West as I imagine? Or will we realize that we have far more in common than we have differences?
It’s interesting because I actually hope to find both is true. We want to see things that we’ve never seen before and encounter places and people we could only imagine. But we also want to meet people from the opposite side of the world and realize they too spin on the planet that we all share. The sun rises and sets for them as it does for us. We hope to find them to be both familiar and unique. We want to learn extraordinary things from them but also find common ground.
I’m currently working with international students from South Korea and Japan and speaking with them I realize the influence the West has had in their lives. They prefer eating traditional Korean food, but also love a good hamburger or pizza. We are different but the same.
I hope that we find cultures still in tact. I hope there are special places left to be found. I am confident there will be beauty everywhere. As we travel we will be looking for signs of the world becoming one through globalism and immigration and movement of peoples. I will also be looking for the preservation of culture and places that we can find something that remains special and unique in the world.
A place’s culture is shaped by its past, present and future. At this point in time the world is apparently shrinking. We look forward to catching a glimpse of the world during this period, 2017.