Travel widens the scope of how you understand world events

“So many Americans, for one reason or another, they watch the news and it doesn’t really give them the idea of the world. Or they don’t read or travel. They have no idea that America is part of the world and not the world itself. And so anything from the travel stories I tell, that’s what I’m trying to get across. That you have to realize there are other people, other economies, governments, cultures, religions, and destinies going on at the same time as yours. You have to widen the scope of your lens and start seeing more.”
–Henry Rollins, “Patriot Missile,” Guernica, May 2008

Posted by | Comments (7)  | October 20, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

7 Responses to “Travel widens the scope of how you understand world events”

  1. Miranda Says:

    Are you just on a constant mission to find these quotes? They’re all so good!

  2. Roger Says:

    I agree, this is a very thought provoking quote, among many that Rolf finds and posts. I save many of them in my files. One thing I’m getting concerned about, and this quote harkins this, even from three years ago, that not many Americans are traveling abroad. This seems to be even more so in the present. I get the sense that fewer people are going abroad to sample the world, and judging by the travel blogs I watch, it looks like things have slowed down on the travel front. Getting people to look outward right now seems to be a hard sell. What do you all think?

  3. John Richards Says:

    It’s true. I’ve read many travel stories and it excites me so much that i want to travel the world. Beautiful places are all over the world. There are many travel destinations waiting to be discovered and we, people, should realize that. By the way, nice post. Keep the quotes coming! Kudos!

  4. Rolf Potts Says:

    I’m not necessarily on a mission to collect quotes, but I save quotes from most everything I read (and I read quite a bit), so I have plenty to draw on. As for whether fewer people are traveling the world right now — it’s hard to tell, since I tend to hear from people who are about to (or are currently) go traveling. Hence it feels to me like plenty of folks — though certainly a minority in the US — are hitting the road.

  5. Davis Says:

    Honestly, now: how much can you learn as a traveler passing briefly through a foreign country, even if you understand the language and can talk with people you meet and read the newspapers and listen the radio?

    And how many people can you talk to? And will these not mainly be English-speakers of a particular class, most likely the same segments of society that you would interact with at home?

    And will you not privilege such misinformation and half-true impressions as you pick up because “you were there and saw it with your own eyes”? Remember all those political pilgrims who went to communist prison countries and saw only happy workers and folk-dancing peasants.

    There is a great deal you can learn from travel, but it is easy to think you have learned more than you really have.

  6. Roger Says:

    We always run the risk of doing what you describe, Davis. It’s easy to prejudge people, but I think the farther we get away from home, and the more often we do so, we train ourselves to give others the benefit of the doubt. I think it takes experience to develope an objective eye and mind, and unless you get away from the normal, you won’t be so inclined.

  7. Buckley Says:

    I don’t entirely agree. I think that is just an opinion. A lot of Americans are different, they understand what goes on around the world. Some may say that Americans can be a bit ” dull “, but they’re just like you. You also didn’t mention about any other countries and singled out America.