The best part is she shares her travels with all of her friends and family by posting photos and videos, and even more importantly, describing the experiences, interactions with and observations of the people of each culture.
Her curiosity allows her to learn and experience, but also share what she observes and absorbs with many who may not have ever been or ever be within close proximity of the many people with whom she crosses paths.
Proximity can also be limiting if we choose not to learn or at least be curious about what we can’t see right in front of us or what we may not experience every day. Not everyone has the means to travel the world, but the fact is, it’s really not a matter of expense. It’s a matter of curiosity and open-mindedness.
The digital world, Internet and social media – when used with good intent – can be instruments of learning, sharing and understanding. The platforms can deliver instant tutorials and virtual experiences about how different people experience life whether through family, friendship, music, dance, sport, religion and education as well as celebrations, commemorations, memorials and rituals paying homage to their history, triumphs or trials.
In a country which is often described as divided, the more we can share and learn about other cultures, beliefs and perspectives, the more we will realize that we have far more in common than different. The incredible dynamic of the United States more than any other country – and the reason it’s called the world’s “melting pot” - is that there are more different cultures within close proximity than most other lands.
While embracing and leaning on our own day-to-day villages, if we are just a little more curious about cultures and communities that may be near or far, we will learn that people of our country and our world have beliefs and philosophies that are much closer in proximity than many may believe.