Dragonfly at Songnisan National Park, Korea
View from Westin Chosun, Room 1123, Seoul, Korea
The truth is I haven't traveled much in recent years. I hadn't been off the continent for over 30 years. I never visited Asia before. I should have. It's easy to understand that the world is big and it's not all the same. But there is real value in experiencing the difference: in not being able to make myself understood, in accepting help with simple things, in being a minority, in not understanding conversations all around me, in not being able to read packaged goods. The food is different. Fashion is different. Manners are different. The smells are different. The mountains are shaped different. The bugs are different. Buildings are different. Baseball is different. The Teaching of Buddha is in the same hotel drawer as The Bible. There are shrines and palaces many hundreds of years old, and whole cities less than ten years old. My understanding, perspective and empathy are all expanded. I think it's true that I can find beauty and wonder right in my own backyard, but I can clearly learn much more when I venture out. I'm very happy that I visited Korea.