Thursday, February 10, 2011

Will Miss #286 - well-traveled people

One of the things you often hear in the never ending comparisons between the U.S. and Japan is that Americans go abroad too little compared to people in Japan. This is true, but it's important to understand that the U.S. is a huge country with a diverse cultural base and Japan is a small island with a fairly homogeneous culture. Japanese people can't experience much cultural diversity at home, so, they travel. This is obviously a good thing as people who travel gain first-hand experience with other cultures. Of course, often that experience is gained on package tours where they are carefully looked after and directed, but it still gives them a sense of the food, the people, and the atmosphere of life abroad in a valuable way. When discussing foreign cultures with those who have traveled, I find they often have interesting and unique insights based on their perspective as Japanese people. These are thoughts I would not have had because I have a different cultural background than they do.

I will miss talking to people about their experiences abroad, and the information they have to share about their (often copious) travels.