Thursday Thought: Get Travelin’ – October 15, 2009

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I’ve always loved to travel…Visiting foreign lands, experiencing new cultures and worldviews, religions and politics, never ceases to expand my personal horizons, both physically and intellectually.


I guess that’s why I’ve devoted much of my life to the pursuit of travel by working as a photographer, climber and guide, and hitting the road whenever the opportunity arises for me and my family. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do this a lot, and have continued to travel with our daughter, Lila, who’s already made it to Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, and India!


At any rate, travel is not just about seeing the world, about getting out of town and on the road. Rather, I think it is about challenging ourselves, pushing our philosophical envelopes…and at times our physical ones, too. By immersing ourselves in different cultures and ways of life, we discover one of the simplest and most profound truths of humanity: At our most basic, fundamental level, we are all the same. We want the same things from life, whether we be from Denver or Delhi, Baghdad or Boston. We find through travel – and it’s accompanying experiences – that if we’re a Hindu or a Muslim, a Maoist or a Capitalist, Lefty, Righty, or in between, we all are looking for a good today, and a better tomorrow, for ourselves and our children and families.


To me, this is the essential of travel, once the romance and pretty photos are stripped away. After a journey, as TS Eliot wrote, we “arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”


But, rather than me trying to wax philosophic, let me share a far more eloquent ode to travel, by the great Mark Twain from The Innocents Abroad:



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 –


And, just for good measure, here’s a little video I put together with some of my favorite travel images, and to the tune of Maybe There’s A Worldby Yusuf Islam, nee Cat Stevens. Enjoy!


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Jake Nortonis an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speakerfrom Colorado.

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