I confess…… I did not own a passport until about 2.5 years ago! But, I have always had a passion for travel since I was a tiny child. I’ve been traveling around the U.S. and Canada since I was 2! But, I always equated traveling abroad, with being wealthy. I also hated flying, *I still do* so, at the time, fear was conjured. In addition to those things, I did not come from a family of experienced travelers. They barely made it out of the state! But, one thing my Mother always taught me was to fight my fears! Unfortunately, everyone does not have a parent that pushed me the way mine did! So, yes, Mama I made it!! LOL! I finally got my passport, and took a last minute, random trip to Haiti and Dominican Republic in 2013. I have not stopped yet! It completely changed my life!!
(Picture of me in Haiti)
One thing I have certainly come to understand is, our country is becoming more international. Tons of business is being conducted overseas more than ever. The USA is based on a melting pot of many cultures, nationalities, and religions. But, we lack knowledge on most cultures and nationalities outside of our own! I’ve been researching, and I ran across a few statistics. I read that only 34% of our country owns passports! How is this possible? That means 66% of the people in our nation has never traveled outside of the U.S; That’s pretty sad, and embarrassing for our country! If ONLY 34% of our country has passports, can you imagine how many of those people are black???? VERY FEW!! Which saddens me even more! In better news, this year, there are record numbers of passport holders in our country. But, our growing rates of stampers still don’t compare to other, major, developed, countries around the world! We have got to find new ways to make people see the world. Not only is traveling life changing, educating, and humbling…..It’s spiritual.
We need to give our youth the knowledge, and encouragement to step outside of their comfort zones, at much younger ages. A lot of children aren’t aware of their yearning for more. When we travel into unfamiliar territory, it creates assurance and a sense self confidence, that cannot be taught through words, and books! We have to motivate, inspire, and encourage them to go after the things they don’t see in front of them. With hands on travel education, our youth will grow into adults who have more understanding of themselves and the world. What does that mean? A less shitty future for America!
Stop the fear
For you adults, walking around with no passports, with no good excuse… I know you are something like I used to be. Afraid of flying, thinking of expenses, or just plain ol fearful! If you know me, then, you know I have serious travel anxiety! Cars, trains, buses…..I get anxiety doing it all!! But, I do not let my anxiety, fear, or finances, completely control me! Go on that trip to Fiji, Greece, or Thailand! If you plan correctly, your trip to Thailand, can cost you almost the same as that trip you just took to Vegas! Take your time, do your research, and just go for it! Or hell, just kill Vegas, Miami, ATL, and NY altogether! Stop going to those same places over and over. Go visit some new places in your own country! Or visit your neighbor, Canada! (For us Detroit folks) Toronto is closer than Chicago!! Why haven’t you been?? Don’t keep yourself in that bubble! Let’s get out here in the amazing world!!