“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
I loved this quote the very first time I read it. At first, I believed it was just because I love to travel. But now more than ever its meaning is so much more relevant to me.
Always drawn to the experience of the different flavors, architecture, and the environmental milieu outside of my home base; I have taken every opportunity possible to jump on a plane.
In the past, I have used travel to escape, to explore, to relax, to eat, to check off a bucket list item, or even to appreciate home more. But now more than ever this quote touches on travel as an antidote to some of the concepts I have barely skimmed in my more recent sheltered years. I wholeheartedly want broader, more charitable views.
So, a few short weeks ago, I decided to totally step outside my corner. I sold my house, stored my favorite belongings, made sure the grown kids were all settled and on October 3, 2021 left my 25-year hometown of Richmond, VA for a yearlong travel journey around the world.
Particularly considering the craziness of the day and the extreme polarity of views, I am craving to see and maybe even understand the perspective of others. I guess that would be empathy-to really feel someone else’s perspective. I am craving empathy!
I believe this adventure will elevate my emotional insight by helping me understand other’s feelings and motivations. As well as provide a gorgeous backdrop and lots of FUN!
Remote Year is the company that helps in facilitating the adventure. I am traveling the year with 23 others from a broad range of backgrounds including nationality, age, sexual orientation, race, and profession. We are living in 12 countries during the year and likely visiting quite a few more. The group will be educated along the way allowing for connection with diverse cultures and communities.
I am looking to develop my own personal diversity and inclusion; it really is the only thing we have within our control. It starts with each one of us. I am blessed to be at a stage in my life where this works for me, it’s not for everyone, for sure.
The first week in Peru has proven to excite every one of my senses with amazing food and adventure experiences. Accepting and understanding the first month’s living and working accommodations has required me to shed my previous thoughts of needing certain things to feel comfortable. Getting to know my 23 travel partners has allowed me a grand opportunity to embrace the similarities as well as the differences. I am no doubt out of my comfort zone and loving it.
Please continue to follow the journey with me. I hope by sharing the adventure and insights you too may want to open your mind to embrace different perspectives, opinions, and points of view.
Kathy Elliott is a recent empty-nester and entrepreneur who shares her stories of a year-long journey around the world with 23 strangers. Follow along to discover the insights, wisdom, and understanding she gains from the adventure. Follow Kathy at IG @iamkathyelliott.