I have so many traveler friends who can deny the nose on their faces because they’ve watched it grow. Culture is what it is…it is where you find it. Geography or a certain number of miles and dollars spent do not necessarily mean that mind shifting discoveries are immanent….that’s just Tropo…Jung’s explanation of the effects of foreign cultures on the minds of western born individuals. For example, I am living in Texas these days, deep immersion in an entirely new culture. The freeways, malls and masses of apolitical independence are demonized by the many media outlets who promote homogeneity, but the unique nature of the Texan mindset and underlying culture is undeniable to the avid observer. I did not have to travel to Bolivia or Cambodia to experience a new culture.
And what is it about travelers who are stalkers of the third world and it’s poverty? I have sometimes considered the thought that it is not just the travel but the narcissistic ego boost in the act of lording a western passport over the impoverished villagers that makes some travelers think they have achieved a new state of nirvana. Does being among the destitute make some people feel better about themselves?
The good old days of the simple rural existence our forefathers once lived are passing us by as demographics shifts with the new economic reality of the 21st century. Whereas 90% of the population once lived in the countryside and 10% urban in the 19th century, this has reversed to an extreme, leaving only 2% of the population producing 90% of all the food we city types need to survive.
These facts are as plain as the nose on your face….you don’t need to travel to Nepal and climb a well worn mountain trail to witness the fantastic changes taking place in our own back yard. I went to a mall yesterday that was two million square feet, built on land where Comanche Indians once occupied 200 years ago. So don’t forget to look at what you have and take pride in your own culture while you’re at it.