The Best Way
Everywhere you go things are done differently. Being in Bangkok for our first “annual” holiday in 4 years reminds me of that. For wherever you remain, you fall into thinking that your way is right.
In a sense, there’s a kind of relative nature to “best”. Think of food and it’s obvious that what you are used to surely has to be the better choice. Yet how is it that we all enjoy such different treats?
This mixture of preferences underpins a world brimming over with cultural diversity. While it isn’t always the popular option, variety in tastes and tradition is good for you. That means trying tucker that is totally unfamiliar expands your horizons and seeing places you’ve never clapped eyes on before inspires the mind.
Travellers by nature love exploring new places and meeting different people. Whether it’s about finding and choosing the best of everything. Or it might be about quenching a thirst for fresh and invigorating encounters.
Some find these ideas intimidating and wouldn’t dream of stepping foot beyond their comfort zone. Foreign places, they feel, can stay so, and new foods can remain strange. Because, for them, the best is what they know and everything is positively wrong.
To me, that’s a small view of life that seemingly hides behind a one-eyed view; intolerant of the best elsewhere because it isn’t part of familiarity.
From an educational view, I believe we all benefit from going beyond our country’s borders because when you leave it forces you to reflect on your own. Besides which, resistance to the value of variety is missing something fundamental to learning itself.
We all need to step into other people’s worlds to find out what is better than our own and to flex our appreciation muscles. Not only is this a mind-limbering exercise, but it strengthens ties, and (crucially) reminds us that, variety aside, we still have an immense amount in common. While it might seem like a paradox, I have no doubt the more we grasp that we all share many “bests” the better our lives will be.
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