Monday, October 20, 2014

Branching Out...

I came across this quote recently and it really made me think. 

The first 20 years of my life, I stayed in the same small area that I grew up in. I never ventured out of my comfort zone at all. 

But I always had a yearning...a desire to branch out and explore.

When I finally made the decision to move away from my hometown and start a life of my own, it opened up a whole new world for me. It was necessary for my growth as a person and it changed my life completely. 

I truly think that if we relegate ourselves to our own little corner of the world, we simply cannot grow. If we never expose ourselves to new places, new people, new cultures, new ideas, or new beliefs, we become stagnant. 

This is not to say that there's anything wrong with living in the same area one's whole life. But if you never travel outside of your comfort zone, or open up yourself to new things, I think that can breed a complacency which can lead to feelings of discontentment.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel it is important to branch out via travel or exploring new things? Do you have any personal stories you wish to share?

146 comments:

  1. I think it's important. I was a military brat and lived all over the USA and in several foreign countries. It expands one's perspective and exposes us to other people and cultures. It adds to our education.

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  2. i think it is def important...that exposure to other cultures...and styles...it will change you....and provide you an opportunity for understanding to develop...

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  3. I'm a huge proponent of travel, and of stepping out of one's comfort zone too! We've done a bit of traveling here, but it's always the one thing I want more of... my bucket list got so long that I quit writing it years ago, lol.

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  4. I wholeheartedly agree, Keith. I have family who have never, that's right, never been further than one state away from where they grew up. And, I'm not talking about young people or even one person. Many of them don't want to leave NY because "we've got it all here!" Um, not so much guys - travel and experience others ways of the world.

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  5. While travelling in Europe earlier this year, I noticed many things are done differently to how they are done in Australia, and most of them were not better or worse, just different. Surely one of the best quotes is travelling broadens your mind, It has mine over many years. Some of life's best experiences don't happen in your comfort zone.

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  6. Perfect Quote! I am a big believer in a "Wanderyar", a year to wander and discover not so much what is out there but self discovery, what is inside.

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  7. I agree Keith, there is so much different cultures in large cities and even medium size cities as the world is getting smaller because of communication and travel but it's a big world out there and even though I work on the farm, My daughters are world travellers and I see the world through their eyes and via the computer.

    I have personally been exposed to many different culture, and also through volunteering to help immigrants settle in our city and start a new life under difficult situations. It really broadens one perspective.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  8. I agree! But you must also keep an open mind and be willing to open up yourself to new experiences. Even big city folks can be narrow minded if they never venture outside their circle of friends/family/beliefs/habits. I know many people from my hometown (large, multicultural city) that are far bigger bigots than some folks I've met here in my smaller city. If you're not open to change, new things, other cultures, religions, trying new things, welcoming different perspectives...I don't think anything will help! But for many, venturing onto new ground, being exposed to different cultures/religions/cuisines/opinions/lifestyles, etc., makes a huge difference.

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  9. can breed a complacency which can
    lead to feelings of discontentment.

    How right you are, Keith! New environment means new things and great for new ideas!

    Hank

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  10. I agree with you. Of course, there is no place like home, but it's good for everyone to get out and see that there is more to the world than one small corner. That is one reason we are sending our youngest son off to live and serve as a missionary in Mexico for two years. He will sure see a different side of things than he has experienced here at home and will come back much more mature and wise. My family moved around a lot when I was growing up and we have also moved a lot from state to state since I got married. There are up sides and down sides to that, but over all, our children have been and experienced more than they could have if we had stayed in one place. I think that they are all better people for having seen more of the world.

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  11. Yes, I very much agree - so long as you bring that openness back with you to your own little 'patch'! :)

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  12. I want to post that quote everywhere! I did more traveling this summer than I ever have, and I came to the same realization... I kept thinking that if only the people from THIS place could trade lives for a week with the people from from THAT place... we'd all understand each other better.

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  13. Absolutely agree Keith! I believe we gain experience only when coming out of comfort zone and travelling expands out world and make sharing with people.

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  14. I've always (except as a child) lived in my rural area. I nearly begged my newlywed husband to move us to Springfield, but he'd grown up in San Diego. He said he liked the country and we stayed. The problem with that is that as time goes by it becomes harder to leave rural--ties and all. YES, every young person should leavevtheir home town for a while at least.

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  15. Well I am a wanderer and many of our friends tell us we need to settle down, and we tell them we do each place we move or travel to. Ha.

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  16. I have always wanted to travel -- but medical costs/expenses keep me grounded -- but yes, I have always wanted to. I read a LOT of novels, and those novels based in small towns where some never leave, and others bolt as fast as they can, and hate that they have had to come back - makes me also think, I have always wanted to live in a small town with not much of anything going on around me :) To me, I think that would be peace :)

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  17. I happened to be in the right place at the right time...I was asked to join the staff at Better HOmes & Gardens magazine when I was 38. Seventeen years there opened my world to work and travel I could never had imagined or afforded on my own. I thank them, now as a retired person, for the broad experiences the corporation gave me. :)

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  18. I love to discover new places. I think you can learn a lot that way. I love to learn about new cultures or even new to me cities. It is so fascinating. Plus it is always an adventure to get to know new people. I surely want to travel and live at some more places in the future.

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  19. My biggest dream/goal right now is to move away. Currently my finances don't allow it, but as soon as they do I am looking for a place and job elsewhere. :)

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  20. I agree people stagnate if they stay in one place, i have a cousin who has never been more than 50 miles from Savannah... but she is happy and healthy... i don't like to travel as in vacation type travel, but do love to move. if i had not moved here to Florida 30 years ago, would not have found the love of my life. the thing is i moved all the time until i married him and here we sit in the same house for 25 years. he hates to move

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  21. I agree, it's too easy to live on the "planet me" if one does not branch out a little. Everything from travel, to interaction with others (online and in person) to charity work and beyond can broaden our horizons and enrich our lives and the lives of others.

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  22. A new perspective can also make you appreciate what you have as well. Always nice to see things and open ones world.

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  23. Yes I do, travelling is the being of our life. What is happened to your girlfrield?

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  24. It is very important to branch out and experience things for yourself. I've not done it personally but I do plan to do so down the line. I've experienced things in my own way though by interacting with the people there to get a good feel for what it's like in other places. If that counts.

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  25. I have done quite a lot of traveling and have enjoyed it. Travel opens up a person's eyes to how it is in other places & also increases one's appreciation into what one has at home, I think. But there is nothing like travel to broaden one's understanding of the world. And so true, if everyone traveled and got to know people from other cultures, who knows what it might do toward establishing peace and understanding in the world!

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  26. Love the post! I believe that we constantly need new experiences and new places, people, & perspectives to grow into the person we're meant to be. Exploration brings questions about the world, and when we stop questioning the vast mystery around us, then where's the wonder in life?

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  27. I can't imagine not travelling. We have such an amazing world, i can't imagine not wanting to have experience of it. And of course you are right, the only way to understand that everyone is just like us underneath, with the same emotions and cares, is to meet them and to get the opportunity to really understand that. Now I'm thinking you must be on the verge of your Great Bavarian Adventure Keith? :)

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  28. My husband died when I was 50. I had never been out of state, never been on a plane or train and probably a lot of other things. Now I've done those things and glad I did. As I get older I find myself staying in my corner but I'm happy on the country roads and with the animals. Nice thought provoking post.

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  29. When I was 21 I moved out of WALES to a succession of small cities
    When we returned to WALES
    I was surprised to see just how bigoted people were when I returned to small town life

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  30. I think it is important to move out of our comfort zone. However, this doesn't have to be physical! And even if it is physical, in order for us to grow, the move from our comfort zone must be an emotional one. That is my view, anyway. :)

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  31. I'm right there with you. Travel has always been one of my biggest dreams, and my wonderful hubby shared that vision. Most our travel has ended with us living in the places we intended to visit, but I can't complain. I think the biggest eye-opener was living in NYC. It's amazing what you don't know about how people survive, until you see it first hand. Amazing.

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  32. being open to new things is always a good trait, as long as you can also be satisfied with what you have. :)

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  33. Travel is great, I like train travel as well, gives me a chance to meet the people traveling with me.

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  34. being happy is what counts in life...if it be traveling, living where you were born...It all depends on your whole being.

    Some feel very happy with what they were given...while others tend to have a need to explore and make changes. I think it all depends on the person.

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  35. I totally agree with you. Travelling broadens the mind and your horizons and makes you realize that you and your country aren't the centre of everything. It teaches us humility and compassion.

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  36. Without a doubt, we have to move out of our comfort zone to grow and it's also important to see a little bit of the world outside of where we live.

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  37. I feel the same way. Although I am not in the same city as where I grew up as a child, I'm not far from it and I still get the urge to move out of Florida, to find some place new, better. Maybe I will one day...

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  38. It's funny you feature a Mark Twain quote. Of all the places I've lived--big cities (think Chicago) and beach towns (think Florida)--I think Hannibal, MO suits me. It's the ideal small America and Mark Twain's boyhood hometown. I think branching out and trying new things is great!

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  39. It is so important to go out of your comfort zone as you learn so much and realize how vast the world is. When I meet people who never leave their own little world, they seem actually, unhappy, judgemental and scared of life. They go further and further within and become quite negative in so many ways. Each person that has not truly explored or ventured out, I have found this to be...so strange and so sad. Step out, if you feel fear, usually that is a good thing because you are out of your comfort zone and are ready to explore something new.

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  40. Travel is wonderful for those who can do it...recommend. There are also travel shows etc that can expand one's horizons...not to mention the internet.

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  41. At some point I do feel it's important to leave the nest. I flew for the first time to Savannah, Georgia to go to grad school. It's so far from Omaha, Nebraska! It most certainly allowed me to grow. I met people from all over the world there (the recruit all over). Here in Omaha, Nebraska we are predominately Caucasian. I think it was healthy and important to see what other cultures are like.

    I am glad that my sons go to school with a mix. One of Mica's best friends is from Ethiopia.

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  42. I can't tell you how many times I have moved in my lifetime. I've lost count. I am a big fan of exploring. Every trip, every move, I have learned lessons and grown as a person. Widening our horizons opens us to new possibilities.

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  43. Travel broadens my mind, my horizons and my connection to the planet and people. I love new: new experiences, new scenery, new foods, new people, new perspectives. The more I travel, the more I realize how much we all have in common. Thank you Keith!

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  44. Learning about others helps us be more open minded. Travel helps, too. Loving in another state for 5 years and meeting people from other countries broadened my perspective.

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  45. Travel is good as long as you do your research first. Some places are too dangerous to explore, but we all know that. I want to see all of the United States. Hubby and I both want to do that. See every place we can possibly see and experience all the different cultures that reside here.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  46. Hi Keith! I think travel and exploration are critically important. If you never move outside your comfort zone, you never challenge your assumptions about the world. And how limiting to stay in one place! The world and its wonderful and varied people are amazing!. I think the thing that confounded me most about George W. Bush when he became president was that he had only been out of the US three or four times. I read that somewhere, and I was flabbergasted ~ with his background and resources he hadn't ventured much outside his safe and privileged comfort zone. I really worried about what impact that lack of foreign exposure would have on his presidency, and to me it indicated a lack of imagination and curiosity which also worried me. I'm going to travel until I die!!!!!! How's that German language coming?

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  47. I have a special vision on this. I was born in Africa. It was Portuguese Territory back then, my father was Portuguese and my mother was Angolan. They met and I was born. Due to my father eagerness of presenting his offspring to family he would send me and my brother - we were, respectively, 5 and 3 - to spend vacations with his Aunts that had raised him.
    I was very young but I remember thinking how different people and places were. For a start I left on Summer and arrived a few hours after in deep Winter. People lived in Portugal under a dictatorship and were sad, silent, cautious or everything and everyone and where I came from was the Tropics with all its vibrant was of life.
    Suddenly the independence happens in Angola and me and my brother never returned to our parents and stayed with my Aunts who raised us until my parents were able to come and live in Portugal.
    What did happen? When they come they couldn't recognize us - our ways. We had been made European, if you want. And, in my case, I was happier than I ever could be in Angola. I think. Even their ways - that were mine before, but when you start "being made" I was already out - were in constant clash with mine. And it has remained.
    Sorry for the long story but I wanted to share with you a story of an accident showing you where you belong. Where you are able to feel complete and fulfilled. For me it's my adoption place. If any feel it's not it keep on looking, that place is somewhere and it will probably take same tears and fears to take you there.
    Travel is great. But may I had? - only when you have home to return to...
    You always tease amazing thoughts and travels of spirit from me.
    I Thank You,
    Teresa

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  48. I love that quote! I think that there is no excuse for narrow-mindedness now. Even if you can't physically travel, we know so much about the world through TV, Internet and social media. It's like travelling in our minds. And how about books? We travelled through books long before computers came along.

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  49. Hi Keith - couldn't but most definitely agree with Mark Twain ... and having lived in South Africa for 15 years or so .. my life is very different, my thought processes, my understanding ... and having had my eyes opened ... the brain is constantly being broadened.

    Definitely we appreciate other walks of life ... and much more - love that Mark Twain quote .. cheers Hilary

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  50. SO much good insight in this post! Thank you for writing it - and sharing the quote! I was fortunate to move to a different country when I was 14, and it really opened my eyes to the fact every place, people and customs have a lot to offer and are valuable for their own merits!

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  51. Absolutely! It is important to take that chance and travel to find one's spot in the world. My husband and I have had to uproot and resettle, and each time we have grown.

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  52. Yes we have to be exposed to something different. It's a little different today when people live in the same area all their life. Many do travel far and wide. Television can expose people to different things. hey, blogging really shows you different things.

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  53. It's important to travel and see other cultures to understand other people, their life. Someone says: 'I don't like them' but he didn't see these people and didn't live among them. Only traveling helps us to learn other cultures and people.

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  54. I whole-hardheartedly agree that travel broadens the mind. I've lived in ten different places, plus done a lot of traveling, and it's made me realize that you really get to learn about how people think, which makes you a little more open-minded and less judgmental.

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  55. Well, we certainly like to move around. We've lived in 12 different houses since we've been married. We've lived in Scotland, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Florida, and a quite a few places in Maryland. I loved every where we've been. : )

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  56. The short answer to this Keith, is if I hadn't moved and lived in the different states of Australia and pursued different lifestyles which led to different life's experiences, I know I wouldn't be the person I am today. The only left to round me off is to move and live in another country :)

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  57. Very true. I have stretched my comfort zone many, many times. And have never regretted doing so, not even once. Go for it!

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  58. I agree with you... and I really want to travel more.

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  59. I travel quite a bit. For me if I don't have a trip planned it makes me feel depressed.

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  60. Very important. I have lived in our little corner of the planet practically all my life - not really moved more than a 30 mile radius. Last year we splashed out and had a holiday of a lifetime - caught the bus outside our village pub ..... and went to Russia amongst other places. It was wonderful.

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  61. after graduation of hs I moved away to another state to go to college and after that I never moved back to my hometown-it was a really good thing for me for sure-I would like to have done a little more travel after that but-never did that after I left home-but now I am content to stay put in my woods-but I push myself to learn new things all the time-especially in my fiber art-always wanting to create and do new things have joined several very inspiring groups on facebook now and I have learned so much just this past month from fiber artists in Europe and other countries-very exciting

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  62. Yes, I totally agree! It's so important to see how others live - to experience different lifestyles and understand different cultures and beliefs. We can become narrow-minded if we don't. I do think this can be accomplished not only by travel, but by reading and watching quality programming, such as PBS. I moved 3000 miles to escape the narrow mindedness of my strict Catholic upbringing and I am so glad that I did. I raised my children to embrace all kinds of diversity and beliefs. Traveling did that for me.

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  63. I do feel that traveling makes us realize we are not the only fish in the pond. And will make us not so fearful of people and things that are different.

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  64. If I ever had any regret in life, it'd be that I've gone out of my comfort soon quite late. Well not too late in fact, I just wish I had gone out earlier so I could have more chances not only to travel and learn but to travelive and experience. I'm an expat for 11 years now and I must agree that going out of our comfort zones does not only help us learn about other cultures and other people but it also gives us the chance to discover much more about ourselves.

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  65. I really like that quote. Wise words.

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  66. I had sheltering over-protective parents (I'm not just talking about typical "They won't let me stay out past nine o'clock" stuff), so I definitely had a desire to branch out and see other areas. Sometimes the "home" you grew up in is not necessarily the home where your heart is.

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  67. Absolutely agree with you. Have to renew and refill the creative well to survive.

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  68. I think it's always good to stretch your wings and experience new things. It makes you appreciate what you have, and also adds to your perspective on things. More knowledge is never a bad thing. That said, however, I found this quote that describes me perfectly: "My heart swings back and forth between the need for routine and the urge to run." Coming home again is perhaps the best thing of all.

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  69. I totally agree with you, Keith! I love to travel and see how everyone else lives.. I would be very happy to move to another state when I retire.. It is a great quote. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your new week!

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  70. I can relate Keith ~ When we migrated to Canada 9 years ago, I never knew what a multi cultural society means ~ Now I am open to all cultures and experiences, it amazes me what a big wide world we live in ~ I am happy for you to take this giant step ~ You are a young man and will have adapt in your new environment ~ Cheers ~

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  71. I grew up like an army brat and think that is a great way to grow. It opened me to various cultures, beliefs, and viewpoints. I have absolutely no fear of change or new.

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  72. I think as long as you're open minded, you aren't at risk for stagnation.

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  73. I tend to always agree with you, Keith, except that I never liked Joan Rivers. Smiles. (Sorry. Too soon?) Traveling makes the world smaller and our minds bigger. In fact, I find that I have less and less in common with my friends from high school who are still living in the same area and rarely if ever venture out of their comfort zones.

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  74. Most definitely! I've lived all over, plus traveled to many more. I've learned a lot at each place. Traveling is an excellent education you can't get any other way.

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  75. I think there's importance there. It's probably one of myriad reasons I go on my treks and roadtrips, because there is so much to see and experience.

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  76. I never wanted to travel until about 10 years ago and the more I blog, the more I want to travel and see all the beauty this earth has to offer. It's amazing all the different cultures and I wish I could experience many of them ;)

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  77. I think you already know that I agree with you completely. I grow in some way or another every time I branch out from my comfort zone and have met some amazing people that have forever changed my views on the world.

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  78. So much out there to see and learn. We'll never do it all but we can try

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  79. I have to agree with you that it is good to get out and branch out. Hubby and me have lived in a lot of different variety of circumstances and we were talking about how we don't seem to fit here and there, especially with people that have stayed put in a location, whereas we have explored and learned different cultures, etc. I do think there is some advantage to trying different locations, one can always go home if one so desires :)

    betty

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  80. I travel A LOT! What I learn is that even though cultures are so different, underneath all those trappings, human beings have the same needs. There are exceptions of course, but that's rare. I do believe to stay in one place all your life can't help but make you insular. Get out and taste the big wide world out there I say!

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  81. Hi Keith,
    When the kids were grown, we moved from one part of California to another part to be closer to them. Because of my husband's work after two years, we had to move back to this area again. Luckily, the kids moved back here too because of their work. Although I loved the experiences that it brought moving to a different area, I was glad to be back home. It was a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but there is also something special about living in a place where your father AND grandfather were born. I do agree that it's nice to mix things up once in awhile and travel. You get to meet different people and see their culture and ways of life.

    Have a great week.

    ~Sheri

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  82. I very much agree that travel is important and I wish I could do more of it. I wish we could require every student to spend a semester abroad. Maybe it would create some empathy and unity in the world, and people could spend time creating real solutions instead of building walls and closing borders.

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  83. Change is good ... but only if one has solid roots.

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  84. I agree.. and it has to be done in real life. The internet is no substitute to actual experiences.

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  85. I'm 50/50 on this. I can see the positive aspects of exploring new places, but at the same time not everyone feels that core desire within them. (Especially if you have a more introverted personality. I am definitely an introvert, and being outside of my comfort zone isn't exactly freeing. If anything it makes me wish to retreat inward even more so; sort of like a survival skill, and then for hours afterward you feel the need to 'recharge' so-to-speak. And I'm not saying this happens all the time, but it does indeed happen and I have no control over it). I do step outside of my comfort zone sometimes... we all have to... but I think it's important to remember that some people live much richer lives inside their minds. They don't necessarily need, nor desire, that more external stimulation. Their brain pretty much never shuts down, which is draining in itself, so traveling too much - especially if surrounded by tons of people - would often cause stress. Not always mind you, but after a while it gets tiresome and even unfulfilling. (Not that travel can't be loads of fun, but I think we all have our limitations on how much is too much). Personally, I would love to visit Ireland, Scotland, and parts of England but at the end of the day... not so sure I could stand that long a plane flight.Lol! I'm going back to Disney World next month and I'm already dreading the flight and waiting at the airport. (And the GERMS on the plane. I'm all for vacations, but sometimes the means to get there is a huge deterrent. I'm just not sure i want to travel to those places THAT badly, ya know?) As for that quote mentioning travel and prejudice... totally do not agree with that. Not all world travelers are without prejudice. One has nothing to do with the other, especially these days with internet, etc. (As someone else mentioned). I also don't agree with his mentioning "vegetating." That in itself sounds prejudiced to me, or just ignorant. Just because some people fit more into the "nester" category than "explorer," that doesn't mean they're a vegetable. People can bloom and do good deeds anywhere.

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  86. Traveling is one thing but moving permanently to another city, country or even a new home is a big change that takes adjustment. I do like traveling but it's expensive so can't do it often. Sometimes just getting out of the house and exploring new surroundings is good and can help see things from a different perspective. So when are you getting married and moving to Germany? :)

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  87. I definitely think that getting away from the life you've always known is an important and eye opening thing to do. I don't think people necessarily need to move (although that's a great way to be introduced to a new way of life!) but just traveling is so important. I also think it's important not to go to the resort cities. Like people always talk about going to Cancun or other places that are known for their resorts. I always want to ask if they actually left the resort or if that's where they spent all of their time. My favorite thing to do when traveling to a new city is to get away from the touristy things for a bit and see where the locals go.

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  88. Traveling in time, naturally into the future, is inevitable. It is greatly informed and edified by travel in other regions. The world is enormous and I want children to play in all of it.

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  89. I think it is very important to take ones self out of the ordinary, daily, usual and change things up. Traveling definetly takes one out of the usual and ones comfort zone. It can be intimidating but the rewards brush all the fears away.

    Something as simple as spending time with an entirely different group of people can bring new perspective, points of view, new challenges. I did precisely that this evening. I said yes to and evening with new people, movie and dinner. I was tempted to cancel but I pushed myself and said, YES, I loved it very much. I am encouraged to try more of the same again soon.

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  90. Good quote! Yes, I think it's important to see new places, meet new people, and try new things! It can be pretty hard to do though since it's so much more comfortable just to spend time with everything we are used to.

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  91. I've always been attracted to people from different cultures, so I think you're either curious and open-minded or not. Travelling, especially to Europe, really gave me a sense of history that I wouldn't have had if I'd stayed home and read history books.

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  92. WOW....good questions. You are receiving some interesting stories.
    I would say, "not necessarily." It depends on the person's personality and to be more precise, I would say the astrological personality. For instance, I have known many Sagittarius and no way can you keep em down on the farm. They have the wonderlust. Although we may not be aware of it, we are constantly striving to fill in areas of our charts. I have just about no "earth" in my chart so I tend to find people whose charts show a lot of earth and I cling to objects that recognize my relationship with the earth, such as gardens, clothes lines and weed whackers. I feel extremely uncomfortable with travel , although there have been many circumstances where travel was necessary. Many people are thrilled to travel through reading books, YouTube, movies and I am one of them. I have been slightly in envy of those who live in the same house where they were born and have an attic filled with their life long mementos. I have always felt more grounded around people with a lot of Taurus or Virgo in their charts who are generally also not interested in travel.

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  93. I love travel. I love seeing how other people live. It amazes me that there are people I went to high school with that still live in the same small town we grew up in and are still married to their high school sweet hear having never left. There is a great big world out there.
    Don't get me wrong, I love coming home, but I love leaving too. I actually leave a lot... makes coming home all the much more sweeter.

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  94. Hm.. you received some very interesting comments on this subject. Kristin's words, "People can bloom and do good deeds anywhere," and the person who said, "Change is good.. but only if you have solid roots," were two thoughts that gave me pause. I wandered about Canada quite a lot, teaching in four different provinces (NS, NB, Que. and BC) and finally settling in BC (born in Quebec). I was never able to put the funds together for big overseas trips and still yearn to see many parts of the world. My years teaching in an international school helped to compensate a bit for the lack of world travel (students from 30 countries). Taught in a Hasidic Jewish school for a year as well. Guess you could say I've learned at least as much from my students as they have from me. Maybe, the trick is to understand that we can make our lives good wherever we are.. and maybe, one has to get out and about a bit to figure that out :)

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  95. For me, I was nurtured and grew when I moved from S. California to Oregon 17 years ago. I am glad I had the experiences of travel, camping, and discovery.

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  96. Since my husband has family in Israel, we've gone there several times, and the best time was when our sons traveled with us. To break up the long flight, we also spent time in Europe. I wish we traveled more when our boys were younger, as there is so much to learn from different cultures. I agree with Jen that it would be great if colleges made it "mandatory to spend a semester abroad." This relates to your point how people of all ages should spend time
    outside their comfort zones.

    Julie

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  97. Absolutely - I believe that experiences shape our perspectives and if we always do what's within our comfort zone, we will tend to have a very narrow point of view.

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  98. I think it is vital to world peace efforts..even introducing travel to children at an early age....personally, I think traveling as a teen also leaves a great impression and although I've been to only several countries, I intend to see more...

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  99. I think you are right - but (there is always a but with me!) - travel to some where and then doing the same thing as you do in the place you left achieves what? If the only people from the country / region / place you meet are cleaning your room or serving you food I wonder if you should have stayed at home?

    What are you thoughts?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne (who may be having 'word verification' issues on his blog!!)

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  100. My life changed dramatically when I was drafted into the army.
    All of a sudden I was in new places and living with people of different ethnicity from all over the country.
    Tall about culture shock.
    My first Thanksgiving away from home I spent with a German family. The food was scrumptious but unlike anything I'd ever eaten.
    I grew up fast and my life changed - for the better.

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  101. Travel is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer!

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  102. Since you know I'm a former Navy man, you could probably predict my thoughts on this.
    When kids ask what it was which compelled me to enlist, I tell them it was because I had a chance to travel.
    Not only have I seen other cultures outside of the United States (even lived in another country for over a year), I met and married the love of my life who grew up several hundred miles from where I grew up. And we have two children born in Maine, lived in Virginia, and grew up in Pennsylvania.
    Yep, Mark Twain nailed it.

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  103. I've traveled globally since I was 18 years old and have lived many places...even India and the Philippines. It made my small world here at home seem totally different. I don't travel as much now but the adventures of the past still broaden my world.

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  104. Mark Twain was right -- as his ghost constantly reminds me! When we travel, we see other people living differently and having their own compass of values which always differs from ours in some way.

    In my research for my 1895 Egyptian novel (with Mark Twain, of course), I found that though the British ruled in Egypt then, they did not truly see or accept the Egyptians as they were. The British saw the world through the filter of their own prejudices.

    Travel can broaden us only if we open the windows of our mind I think. :-)

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  105. Yes, I do believe it is really important to travel and meet people whose lives are very different to our own...otherwise, we run the risk of stagnation.
    I can't say I'm a very widely travelled person...but at those times I have, I have found my horizons broadened and my mind wonderfully refreshed...:)

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  106. Branching out is necessary for our growth ... we get to know about different avenues of life. helps us to be a better person.

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  107. I love travel. BUT, I also love meeting people who have never traveled all that far from where they grew up. Their perspective is unique. Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't want to BE them, but I find them fascinating.

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  108. I think it's vital to travel and to spend some time in a totally different culture. My two years in Malawi were totally inspiring and insightful. At the same time, as an environmentalist, I think it's important to minimise carbon footprint and so to not travel too much. There's a definite tension there....

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  109. I encourage it...but find nothing wrong with staying in the small little space the Lord has given you. You can grow spiritually and artistically and enhance the lives around you and learn and travel the world through those who do journey.

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  110. Weighing in late on this, but I LOVE this quote by Mark Twain, which I discovered in a seminar course on his works in college.

    Occasionally I get asked, if I could meet and talk to anyone alive or dead, who would I pick. I always pick Mark Twain.

    And Ben Franklin.

    I'd love to sit down to an alcoholic beverage with the two of them.

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  111. I did a lot of traveling and chose to attend college in Istanbul to learn about other cultures, but I am sure many people who do not travel much have the good qualities Twain wrote about. Thoreau is an example of a learned man who did not travel.

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  112. I love travel and I think is goof for learn and grow .
    But curiosity Keith I can't did all I would want.
    Money is a problem sometimes and others things.
    But thinking in this the other day (my sister is in Germany now) I think Im ok and love reading so I travel a lot:)
    And blogger is other way to grow and know other cultures.
    But you are young.And you have now the amazing possibility to live and know other cultures.
    Germany is an amazing and beautiful country:)
    All the best !
    Each person is special one and God has different roads to all.

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  113. What you said. hahaha We are so much alike it's kinda scary! :P

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  114. After high school, I went town-hopping. I've lived in so many places! If only for a short while, my itchy feet and longing for something 'more' sent me down the next path. Newness, diversity, exploration and curiosity got the best of me. I'm still like that. But, I always come home. ;)

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  115. This is SO true! I've met a lot of Christian people (and I'm Christian, so I'm not saying we're all this way!) who have a very closed-minded view of the world. 9 times out of 10, these are the people who have lived in the same place all their lives and never even met people who live the lives they're judging. It's not just about staying in one place, either. They refuse to socialize with people they don't "like" for whatever reason and therefore they miss out on a LOT of experiences in life.

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  116. I think it's great to branch out and see more, but I am one who stresses out when I travel. I've seen other continents, worked in orphanages, and interacted with children I couldn't fluently talk to. But constant travel drains me, and I prefer to maximize my efficiency of my impact where I can. So I will probably stay put for a while.

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  117. Each time I have travelled I do feel a greater sense of understanding and appreciation of the world around and my life. Today with the internet and excellent documentaries, travel shows etc, this quote may be less true than in Twain's day. I guess there could be a case for the benefits of staying in your own little corner too....

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  118. May I never be so blind that all I see is my own small world, nor so self-satisfied that all I am is all I want to be.

    Yes, I think we should all expand our horizons as much as we can.

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  119. I never lived in the same place for too long, and while that has its drawbacks, I do believe that my life has been more enriched by it.

    I hope you write more about your adventures as you experience them :-)

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  120. I think it's great that you are excited about this. Me personally, I'm not into traveling. I'm not into adventure. lol

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  121. I agree with you but multi media also offers a widening of our knowledge of other peoples and cultures. I have travelled a lot but as we get older it is not so easy.

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  122. I am torn on this one. I know the cool thing to say would be that we should move from our hometowns and experience new things, and to an extent, I believe it. However, I moved away, and though I wouldn't trade my life the way it is, I have not been able to form friendships nearly as deep and meaningful as those in my hometown. Also, my family is back there. So I get kind of lonely sometimes.

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  123. Travel is my middle name...as we are about to venture out again...next week...to Portugal and Spain. Oh, the stories I could tell...and do, just a bit.

    Big hugs, honey...

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  124. So true. It's by stepping out of our comfort zones that we grow. Travel to new places, try new food, listen to music we don't usually listen to. It can have an amazing effect.

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  125. I spent much of my early life moving from one place to another, and I would say that it's helped me realize what are the important things in life.

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  126. Yes, yes and yes! Travelling is one of those pleasures I wish we could have in Cuba. As in the choice to.

    Greetings from London.

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  127. Twain was being hyperbolic, which he was very good at, and seldom entirely correct whenever he indulged in. The Westboro Baptist Church has lots of exposure to people outside of their ideological sphere. But I do believe, if one brings an open mind and caring heart into other spheres, then one is less likely to perform unconscious or conscious bigotries. I try to stretch myself and be a better person.

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  128. Hmm, I've kinda stayed in the same place - in fact, after a brief stint in the neighbouring city, I've lived opposite the house I grew up in ever since. My thought is... I don't need to go anywhere because I can write about other places. It's a pretty bad idea! :-)

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  129. Travel might broaden your horizons and you may roam the whole world, experience different diverse cultures but eventually you have to return back to your roots. Home after all is a place filled with memories and childhood.

    I like the quote though :)

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  130. Well, I didn't want to move from my hometown, but as a 19 year old new bride, I followed my husband to his new job in Texas. All in all a great experience, but it would've been nice to have family nearby as my kids were growing up. That's the only thing I regret.

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  131. I agree wholeheartedly as I have the gypsy gene. I was lucky enough to have grandparents take me places, even if they were only in PA and surrounding areas. I also had a vast wilderness to explore. Most of my family has limited their traveling and I was not ever or will I ever be that way. I have had the most incredible experiences especially when traveling alone. Immersing oneself in another culture even for just a little while opens one's mind and heart a hundred-fold.

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  132. I suppose narow-mindedness and complementary tunnel vision are ways to feel safe, alright.

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  133. Nice post! I agree that when we travel we learn about new cultures and ideas. It's good to develop a new perspective from the one we have always been used to. Thank you for visiting my blog. :)

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  134. I love traveling. But I know that it's an expense that not everyone can afford, and I wouldn't want to characterize anyone as narrow just because they couldn't afford to travel.

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  135. Ah this is so true. If one doesn't explore then things will just stay the same, and nothing new will be learnt! I hope your doing well Keith :).

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  136. Yes! I love the idea of exploring new things through travel. Right now I have been limited to just U.S. travel, but when the kids are gone, I have a huge bucket list of places I want to go. Ireland is top of the list since it is where my hubby's bloodline is from.

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  137. Indeed, it is important to explore. You may not have to travel very far.

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  138. Definitely! I think it's okay to be attached to one place and call it home, but once in a while, reaching out a little to see how others live and what the world is like outside home is important. It's how we grow as people and as writers. I'm hoping to travel more next year, myself! Hope we find some great fodder for story-telling.

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  139. Going back to my hometown (2,000) people the ones that have never left have absolutely no interest in talking about anything outside the town. Bizarrely they don't ask me anything about the years in London and now the US. We talk about old times in school and what everyone has done.
    i don't find them bigoted though, they are sometimes more content that others who travel constantly. There is a good level where you have both.

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  140. I think Mr Twain's quote says it perfectly. Like the look of your blog.

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  141. Dear Keith, yes, I think that we need to go beyond our comfort zone and explore possibilities. Broadening our horizons can also happen through an interest in a wide range of topics in books. And for me, my mother was the least judgmental person I've ever known and the most eager to meet new people and try new things. She instilled that attitude in me and took away my fear of change. Peace.

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  142. Completely agree! Moving and travel opens up your mind to new experiences and places and the world is so vast, there is so much to see! - Tasha xxx

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  143. I've wanted to all my life, I did go to the Maritimes, Spain, San Fransisco, Florida, but I was born agoraphobic, and eventually living a normal life killed me. So yes I think for those who can, it's the best thing to do to see we are all the same with desire of love, life, music...We are all the same. I wanted nothing more than to travel, but I can't stay that it was pleasant especially the 3 weeks in Spain, I had anxiety attacks constantly and i didn't understand then why. But my camera saved me, when I'm looking through the lense nothing touches me, nothing hurts me...but eventually you go against you biology, your inherited genes, you fight against long enough, you fall...still behind the lense is still the best place for me, when I can force myself to go out. Imagine An Agoraphobic Photographer...not fair. Next Life Ihope I've learned what Ineeded did what I needed to do, and be free of this heavy load that takes my breath, and be the photographer I was meant to be.

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  144. I completely agree with you, Keith! I moved away from my home state in 1998. Now my daughter who is college bound next fall has the same plans. It's so hard for us to see her move away so far, but like your post mentioned it important for her to grow!

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  145. I'd like to travel. I travel and tour by google maps. Any chance I get for an adventure, I go! I've never had any money. I could have hitched or hopped trains, so it's no excuse.

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  146. Thank you Keith for writing this. It is so important to begin by finding yourself. You know its so difficult to do this in India, even when you cant afford to be on your own you practically Cannot be on your own. I am 21. I live on my parents money. And I cant wait to start giving it back to them. All my travels are sponsered by them. This is the only baggage I carry. I sometimes feel like I now know me, there is so much more to it. The new places broaden our horizon of thoughts. How we treat everything around starts defining how we treat ourselves. I see hope and love and beauty in new pictures in my head by travelling. Its like painting or coloring. So much is just defined by our choices.

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