Traveling is a Gift

Years ago someone I know had recently sold their company. He was still quite young (under 30) and didn’t come from a family with a lot of extra income. My advice to him was travel. That is one of the biggest gifts that money can afford. Reality is travel has become the norm not an exclusive opportunity. He took me up on that advice and years later told my daughter is was the best advice he ever got.

We walked through the streets of Paris on June 21st, the longest day of the year, where the entire city celebrates with live music everywhere. It was our last night of this trip. The sun doesn’t set until 1030.  It is just another added bonus that makes Paris magical.  Everyone is out.  Kids, teens, parents, grandparents, and everyone of all ages. 

What rings true is that although we might all live in different locations around the globe, we have become a global world through social media.  It has transformed our connections.  You might not be able to afford a ticket to Paris or Seattle or Bangkok but you can go there on social media in pictures, in stories, and even in conversations.

At the core of life, we all want the same thing.  Good friends, family, a roof over our heads, food on the table, something to get up to every morning that energizes us as well as to feel comfort. 

What is happening in the global world being run by crazy ego maniac power mongers is a big disconnect between what happens on the streets.  We are seeing that shift take place in Hong Kong when the amount of people that went to the streets to protest against China was monumental.  We are seeing it more women run for office everywhere. People are leaving places in droves where there is war and war lords because they can’t feed their families and there is no hope.  They aren’t leaving because they want to just leave.

We should be helping those countries under destruction educate their people and create a place of hope so that they can stay in their homes where they have a support system of family and friends. It is where the majority of them truly want to be.  It is our responsibility as one of the wealthiest countries in the world to help those countries help themselves.  It is no different than financially successful people have a responsibility to give back and help others be it social programs, art institutions, local charities or medical studies.  Private public funding has been part of our culture as far back as we can remember. It is up to the ones who have the most to give back to the ones who don’t.  That philanthropic mindset is one that is taught in American schools from nursery school. Give back, raise money through a lemonade stand or a bake sale to make a difference for others.

Walking through the streets of Paris these past few weeks and reading the angry tweets from our President gave me anxiety, anger and sadness.  How did we get here and how do we move forward? We should embrace being a global world.  If we did, then perhaps traveling to countries around the globe we would discover and celebrate those different cultures that are not that different from our own. They just happen to be living on different lands with different languages, religions and lives but at the end of the day, we all just want the same thing which is peace among the comfort of family and friends.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    The question for me–from your thoughts–is whether indeed you can or should try to reason with those who are ethically bereft or just screw them, work to get the majority in control.More and more I think that this problem is one of minority rule.The way to change that is to squash it. Can’t think of any other way around it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Agree. What happened to empathy and finding a place in the middle

      1. awaldstein

        I may never have an answer to that.Part of me reluctantly thinks that those deeply bereft outliers were always there but now have been the smarter beneficiaries of the tech products I’ve been involved with for my career–specifically the data strategies behind gerrymandering and suppression and using social channels to divide not coalesce.

        1. Gotham Gal


  2. William Mougayar

    Agreed, but some of these governments in those places are corrupt, incompetent and put a gridlock on the societies and countries they “govern”. It is becoming harder for many of those to transition properly, even if richer countries offer help. In my opinion, as an avid student of globalization, countries have to start by helping themselves before getting help from outsiders.

    1. Gotham Gal

      It’s hard to help yourself with zero education

      1. TanyaMonteiro

        and a mind set that is “taught” how to beg. Years ago, when I was living in NYC I visited a family member in a tiny island off the Mozambican coast. The night I arrived there was a massive party at our 5 start hotel on this TINY island, delegates from Mozambique were celebrating with a huge banquet, children from the village were brought to dance for the guests who were not involved in the celebrations but indirectly they got to celebrate too. When I asked what are we celebrating? I was told that the USA had wiped out the debt, they no longer owed that particular amount of $$$. It’s way more complicated than that, I’m know, but it was the first time I realized my continent has learnt how to beg.

        1. Gotham Gal


      2. William Mougayar

        It’s not just education, but it’s also a lack of willingness, not wanting to break old customs, retarded mentalities….Corrupt people can be educated, but their priorities are what’s wacky. Look at Saudi Arabia as one example. Those in government are seemingly educated, but they cling to power and do not deliver a better society to their people.

        1. Gotham Gal

          It’s power. It is the people who need to rise up aren’t capable when they aren’t educated.

          1. William Mougayar

            But those in power use force, prison, killings, intimidation, etc. to stunt and suffocate those people that want progress. It’s often a gridlocked situation. Tough to dismantle these deeply rooted systems.

  3. CCjudy

    It has become a world where Crime is King and Queen. Those of us “misfits” must work to keep ourselves and those we care about in Integrity

  4. Kirsten Lambertsen

    We’ve gone from the information age to the disinformation age. While I don’t excuse anyone who’s let their racist beliefs find safe harbor in Donald Trump’s presidency, I do see that they exist in a fog of disinformation. Fighting disinfo (and creating a culture of fighting disinfo) is a critical front in the war against global fascism. It’s right up there with monetary support and other forms of aid.

  5. Jeremy Robinson

    Paris at this time of year is a jewel- the light, the people in the streets, even as it gets late, just as you described. In the face of evil we must fight and resist. But we must also savor the sensuous life and linger, linger, linger.

  6. scottythebody

    Well said!