If Travel Has Taught Me Anything

Racism is a state of mind. I have met people of all colors during my travels and all have enriched my life immeasurably. It is time America. It’s beyond time. We must stop making our prejudice and biases about skin color a factor in our judgement and decision-making. The pandemic certainly highlighted inequality throughout the world and the last two weeks of protests have certainly compounded the realities of deep injustice in our communities.

Travel is a way of learning, you are out of your comfort zone, you meet people of different cultures, colors and religions. We all want to believe we are unique. And in a way we are. There’s no one who loves taking photographs of every new experience or has an aversion to spiders and a passion for exploring. I’m unique. But when it comes to what really matters, we are all so much alike.

We want to be accepted, we want to succeed, we want to matter. It may look different to a riad owner in Marrakech or a fisherman in the Marquesas, than it looks to a hoodie wearing techie or the button-down corporate type, but we all want to succeed..

We all want to feel loved. Everyone wants people to understand them, wants a community that they belong to, everyone wants acceptance. These needs can live in mansions, apartments and in small village huts in a jungle. These needs don’t discriminate based on skin color religion, language, or nationality or orientation.

You see the world in a new way, when you see that people are more similar than they are different. When they rejoice, you rejoice. And when they hurt, you hurt. Why is this such a challenging concept? Each individual success is a collective success in every community. We grieve for the families who have suffered the injustices of racism.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, 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, The Innocents Abroad / Roughing It

Egypt wall art
Bangkok, Thailand

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.. Albert Einstein.

Sayulita, Mexico. wall art by local village children “hug someone maybe it’s what you need”
Tree Art Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford

“America belongs to all who live here and call her home; of every color and background; that is central to what makes America great. those who believe otherwise are (in my opinion) other then American…” Leland Lewis, Random Molecular Mirroring

Native American gathering, Stanford University
Cairo, Egypt

Inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “With patient and firm determination we will press on until every valley of despair is exalted to new peaks of hope, until every mountain of pride and irrationality is made low by the leveling process of humility and compassion; until the rough places of injustice are transformed into a smooth plane of equality of opportunity; and until the crooked places of prejudice are transformed by the straightening process of bright-eyed wisdom.”

Bhutan Farmers market

“You cannot claim you treat everyone equally If you are judging others by their ethnicity.”  Charles E Hudson

Rajasthan, India

“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories.We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”  Thurgood Marshall

Amman, Jordan

“Discrimination does not ‘make America great.’ It makes America weak.” DaShanne Stokes

The Great Rift Valley, Kenya
Sayulita, Mexico – Wall Art by local village children

What makes us different? Well, besides our skin color and our nationality and maybe our religion, nothing. We all want the same thing, we all want to have success in America. Herm Edwards

A Monument to Love

The Ultimate Symbol of Love – at the time, in 1630, the wealthiest ruler of the Indian empire, Sahah Jahan, lost his queen, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth. Despite his fortunes, he lost the love of his life. Jahan commissioned an ornate tomb symbolizing his eternal love. The Taj Mahal, is surrounded by stunning gardens echoing the Muslim vision of heaven to forever commemorate his love.

Nothing prepares a visitor for the bewitching beauty of this Wonder of the World.