Cake
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    • I first traveled abroad when I was about twelve years old. Back then, I was fascinated with travel because I grew up thinking I never would be able to (I was born in Lithuania which at the time was still part of the Soviet Union and the border with the West was sealed).

      I also had this crazy theory as a kid: if people in foreign countries spoke different languages, surely they all laughed differently, too? I became obsessed with the desire to find out what German, American, or Japanese laughter sounded like.

      Later, in my teens, I traveled because I read Kerouac and fancied myself a lost bohemian vagabond.

      In my twenties, I traveled to escape.

      Then, I set out to South America, expecting to see a strange and faraway land and meet exotic peoples and mysterious tribes, and finally discover...something.

      Now, I travel because of people and connections. And I'm beginning to realize, more and more, that:

      - people do laugh the same all over the world.

      - people also break and cry the same all over the world, too.

      - a Lithuanian motorcyclist and an old indigenous abuelita herding llamas in the high Andes can bond over peeling potatoes in the kitchen with amazing ease, without speaking a word of the same language.

      - people all over the world appreciate it when you compliment their children.

      - offerings of coffee, ice cream, or chocolates is a universal language around the planet.

      - people in Mongolia, France, Ghana and Brazil want the same basic things: safety, a roof over their heads, good health, and for their children to be safe and healthy and get a good start in life.

      - if you are a transgender lobster diver living on a small Caribbean island, you can still bond with beer-drinking German backpackers over playing volleyball and gossiping.

      - best conversation starters round the world are: food; relationships; horrible bosses; food; compliments; weather; food; food.

      What expectations or stereotypes about world travel have changed for you?

    • I think travel has made me more connected to the poverty worldwide and the need to help. I agree with everything you've said :)

    • Years ago, travel meant big dreams, wide open spaces, new sights and feelings. Now the more I seem to understand human nature the less inclined to travel I am, in the same way. Still soul searching this.. thanks for reviving the topic in my mind.

    • - people all over the world appreciate it when you compliment their children.

      - offerings of coffee, ice cream, or chocolates is a universal language around the planet.

      - people in Mongolia, France, Ghana and Brazil want the same basic things: safety, a roof over their heads, good health, and for their children to be safe and healthy and get a good start in life.

      What lovely thoughts. I love reading about your experiences and love of people.

      My experience has been similar in most places in the world, but we've had to be careful in places like the Middle East and Africa where at times we felt very threatened. Stay safe.

    • I hate to say it because it sounds so selfish, but right now I crave world travel mostly because it's so far out of reach for me right now. So often I want to escape and go back to when all I had to worry about was myself. I wish I could have taken more advantage of traveling when I was younger and single, because now that I'm 35, married and a mom to a kid with health issues, I can't do anything on my own without feeling guilty for indulging.

    • I don't think that's selfish at all! Indulging in travel isn't the same as stuffing your face with cookies or binging on Netflix. And it may lead to all sorts of unexpected places, both external and internal.

    • The more I travel the more I'm finding out that it's really not the places you see but the people you meet. Now that I'm retired and have the opportunity to do extensive World Travel I'm discovering something . When I come home to share my experiences I'm not talking about that beautiful High Vista or that warm Beach. I'm talking about that quirky guy I met from London or that kind Old Gentleman that gave me a tie-down strap in Spain. So as a result I'm trying not to see all the must-see attractions, I'm trying to stay more with locals, sit down, and hear their stories.
      I'm a work in progress. Trying to become less of a tourist and more of a traveler.

    You've been invited!