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.
This is a very pertinent quote. I think everyone needs to travel outside their comfort zone and outside the sphere of their knowledge to really get a feel for the world and the people in it. Travelling has helped me see other cultures and other people in a different light. I’m not a hateful person and don’t generally think badly about people, but I have had some prejudices and assumptions changed as I’ve traveled around and interacted with different people. I don’t think I’m narrow-minded in the sense that I’m intolerant, prejudiced or blinded to other customs and beliefs which are not my own, but I will freely admit that I was narrow-minded in the sense that I wasn’t as informed and knowledgeable about the world as I thought I was. Just reading news stories and the history of a culture will not make a person understand the people or customs of a particular country.
To really be open-minded, knowledgeable and informed, a person needs to spend a considerable amount of time in a place other than their home city or country. I didn’t realize how little I really knew about the world until I moved out here and saw first-hand the things I didn’t read in my culture books or all the history books I have. The world is so much more than what can be read about it or watched in a documentary. The only way to truly experience life and learn about the differences in the world is to travel and live it.