Travel, and What it Can’t Erase.

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Home.

None of us like to admit it. Especially those of us who deem ourselves “travelers.” We fly (train, boat, walk, run) around the world waxing lyrical about how beautiful other cultures are, and how we’ve all been changed. And I think this is especially true of young American travelers. We want desperately to remove ourselves from the stereotype of the “Ugly American Tourist.” We admonish the seriously out of whack ideals of American culture that tells us money and a successful career determine your self-worth. We hate commercialism, we are so above that. But if travel, and in particular living in Europe has forced me to realize anything, it’s that for better or worse, I am (we are) absolute products of our culture. I know, it’s almost too obvious, but for those of us who look at much American culture and grimace, it’s hard to admit that it is indeed, deeply engrained in our being. The good, and the ugly. Not to say we can’t change, I know I have. But there it is, constantly in the back of our beings, shaping decisions and perceptions.  Continue reading