Message From The Editor
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
Over many years and many travels, I have learned that the best trips are not so much about the destination, but about the journey. And, more importantly, that the journey does not end once you reach your destination, or even upon your return. The most meaningful journeys are the ones that also make you travel inward.
A few months ago I took a month-long trip to France, Italy, and spain, the latter being a totally new experience for me. while I had travelled extensively through France and Italy before, this recent trip was totally different. I had never travelled abroad for more than two weeks, and I normally prefer to visit just one country or region at a time. Despite my reservations about the length of time away from home and the sensory overload from trying to process so many sights, sounds, tastes, and emotions, this trip was different for other reasons, too.
Perhaps my age – and a little bit of wisdom that supposedly comes with it – now influences my experience of that which is “foreign”, or at least perceived as foreign. As such, I find that travel is a humbling experience. once you have experienced the mad rush at the major European airports and the stupendous influx of “foreigners” (just like you), you come to realise that there are millions of people just as “special” as you may perceive yourself to be. In this respect, I realise now, travel is the great equaliser of humanity.
Apart from being the great equaliser, though, travel is also the great uplifter because, invariably, it confronts and destroys prejudices. In many ways we are conditioned to label “foreigners” in a way that subtly reduces them to a single characteristic. The French are rude. Italians are bombastic. The English are conceited. Americans are loud. These are the labels we use to dehumanize others without ever having met them, or spent any time getting to know them. Travel changes that, but only if you are willing to engage with the locals, learn to greet and thank them in their own language, and most importantly, learn to respect them in their own country.
And yes, I did see and experience a lot during my trip, and you will get to read about the highlights in this and future editions of SLOW. But for now, I’m still travelling inward as I continue to yearn for a world devoid of prejudice.
Enjoy the read