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Does international travel make you more or less racist and judgemental?

Does international travel make you more or less racist and judgemental?

Old Jan 7th, 2002, 09:56 AM
  #1  
Pete
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Does international travel make you more or less racist and judgemental?

Up to 10 years ago I was the most open minded person in the world. That was before I traveled overseas, now I hate to admit it but with each passing trip I have become more and more of a racist and more judgemental!<BR><BR>Everything I read tells me the opposite should happen. As I see people from all over the world I SHOULD become more open minded about peoples differences and respect the cultures of people from all over. But again, this has not happened!<BR><BR>Since 1990, when I took my first overseas trip, from my home in Wyoming, I have traveled the world with my wife. I have seen 41 countries and every continent except the poles. I have seen a good mixture of first, second and third world countries. I love traveling, but feel bad about what it has done to me!<BR><BR>Though with each passing trip I become more judgemental about people in each country and more racist. (Especially after visiting third world countries). I look at the cultures and way of life of the people with contempt and have treated people back home from these places- rudely.<BR><BR>After visiting Asia, with its huge overpopulation problems, I look at life as "cheap" and no longer mourn when I hear of death in many countries.<BR><BR>I am not a troll and feel I am bringing up a real question related to the experience of travel. Your thoughts would be welcome!
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 10:12 AM
  #2  
Vita
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Hi, Pete. I'm not sure I totally get your perspective. I don't know that travel makes you more or less judgemental. You either are or you aren't and process that information accordingly. <BR><BR>I think one common fallacy about travel is that we somehow become experts of a race or culture by visiting a place once or twice or 10 times. Regardless of how often we visit, we are still visitors. Not only are we not seeing the whole picture, but we are naturally coming in with our own cultural biases. I would suggest appreciating the experience for what it is, and gaining what you can from it.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 10:13 AM
  #3  
anon
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Not more racist or judgemental; just more smug.<BR><BR>Plus, I look at your post and feel contempt.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 10:14 AM
  #4  
MaryC
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Well said, Vita! Here! Here!
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 10:31 AM
  #5  
Jody
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I think it is human nature to react emotionally to something completely different up close. You do that traveling.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #6  
anon2
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Pete - you're just getting old and tired
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 10:51 AM
  #7  
L
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Well, Pete, you're style seems like a closed system - you've written a rather self-enclosed summary of where you are emotionally. What is it you really want from us? Is it other opinions you want for the sake of discussion, or do you want just to tote up the number who agree/disagree with you? Sounds to me like the racism was probably always lurking just below the surface, and it took travel away from the tired and true of a rather unelightened Wyoming to bring it out, and now you see the results. I don't detect any great desire to shed your racism, so what purpose would a discussion serve right now? Your mind appears made up. I assume your travelling days are past and now you're comfortably home in Wyoming. What's your issue? Ciao, Leone
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 11:07 AM
  #8  
Judy
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Pete: Any death of innocent people anywhere should be mourned by all, IMO. Unfortunately, I believe you are losing your humanity. <BR>Judy
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 11:11 AM
  #9  
Barry
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Let me put a different spin on this...<BR><BR>I'm a "true blue boomer"... born in 1946 and grad high school in 1965... college in '70. I studied history and majored in Pol Sci... thought I had a good world view.<BR><BR>We started traveling "seriously" in 1985 and since then we've been to 50+ countries. I had kind of a "scales falling from my eyes" experience in Istanbul, Turkey just about 3 years ago (by the way, we left the USA the day the bombing started in Kosovo). We were were touring the city the next day with two Turkish guides... just my wife and myself and the two guys. We went all over the city that day.. across the Bosphorus to the hill on the Asian side. I stood there looking across ALL THE HIGH RISES THAT STRETCH FOR MILES!!! I felt smaller than I ever had in my life... maybe not "smaller" as such... maybe just "not the center of things". I just looked and looked at the mass of humanity living out there... each window was a family... when they lay down at night each had their own dreams and plans... and I was literally overwhelmed at the sheer SIZE of life!<BR><BR>We went from Turkey to spend several days in Israel, and while we were there spent time in Jeruselem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and down by the Sea of Galilee and the River Jordon, thence on down to the Dead Sea and Masada. We were well received by EVERYONE there (right time I guess!)... the trip continued on but that is not the important part...<BR><BR>Not too awfully long after we got back the Big Quake hit Turkey... right where we had been! Not too awfully long after that "All Hell" broke loose in Israel. It seemed that every time we turned on the news the were shooting from an angle where we had been standing!!!<BR><BR>ALL of that has made me stop and wonder... wonder if it was just coincidence that we have been some places when we went WHEN we went there.... (we were in Guatemala on the day of the end of a war we didn't even know about.... then 3 weeks after we got back many of the places we had gone were covered by mudslides. We were in Montreal just weeks before the huge, paralyzing ice storms of the other year... we were sitting at the RiverWalk mall on the Mississippi River in New Orelans and when we got back my father called and told me to turn on the news... that is when that out of control Chinese ship rammed into the exact place we had been standing a couple of days before...watching the ships pass by..<BR><BR>I know... I know... I'm rambling!<BR><BR>But the point is that traveling has shown us the true ebb and flow of human life! No "they" aren't all like "us" (thank God!). But the traveling and the meeting "them" has really opened my eyes to what the world really is! "Warts and all"!<BR><BR>Best wishes to all...<BR><BR>Barry
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 11:15 AM
  #10  
xxxxx
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For safety's sake, I would like to know where you are traveling to next, Barry.<BR>(Interesting post)
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 11:27 AM
  #11  
Phyllis Stein
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Or more to the point, Barry, from where have you just returned?<BR><BR>(And that was indeed an interesting post.)
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 11:30 AM
  #12  
John G
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To those of you who haven't noticed, Pete is the same person who goes by "Kevin" and "Steve" on the Asia Forum. He likes to "stir the pot," which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, he could start coming up with more poignant topics. Im personally getting bored with his "us vs. them" posts. Why can't Pete come up with something along the lines of: Wearing silk in Madrid in July--pro or con????
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 11:32 AM
  #13  
Barry
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YEP !<BR><BR>I've always told friends to go before me or a LONG time after me ;&gt<BR><BR>Seriously though, our next trip is in March... flying from ATL to Zurich... then doing the 15 day Eurail Pass thing to go onto to Salzburg - Vienna - Budapest - Prague & back...<BR><BR>We already have hotels booked for this but any "not to miss" ideas for sites/shopping/restaurants for this trip greatly appreciated gt<BR><BR>Barry<BR><BR>Barry
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 11:45 AM
  #14  
Barry
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Hi Phyllis -<BR><BR>Yes, the aftermath of our most recent trip is kind of the same!<BR><BR>We got back from a 3 week trip through the Baltic on August 1st... most of it was on Renaissance Cruise Lines (it was our 5th with them... really loved the company).. BUT...they were the first cruise line to "bite the bullet" aftet 9/11! As I said we got back on Aug 1st and by about Sept 15th they were gone!!!<BR><BR>They had 10 ships at sea and it is my understanding that they sent out orders for the Captains to "take the ship to the CLOSEST port and put the passengers and crew ashore"! If there is anyone out there who was on one of those ships I'd love to hear what actually happened!<BR><BR>Barry
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 12:04 PM
  #15  
Pete
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I enjoyed the responses so far especially the one from the person who thought I was actually someone else! I can assure you I have only posted under my real name.<BR><BR>Yes I am ashamed at my racism, but maintain that traveling, especially to third world countries, has made me down on groups of people. I am not proud of this or am I justifying my thought patterns, it has just happened.<BR><BR>My question is this common in other people who travel to these types of locations?
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 12:14 PM
  #16  
cece
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It sounds to me as if you may be travelling in your own moveable environment, bringing with you your pre-existing standards and priorities and assumptions and hierarchies. Do you go to, say, Mali or Nicaragua or Moldova and try to live there as a typical (not particularly well-off by regional standards) local would live, or do you try as much as possible to live the way you would at home? Do you have the time and the patience and the skills (language, social, etc.) to meet local people and really glimpse their world views? Or do you see them as weak, unsuccesssful failures because they do not have or do not pursue the things that are important to you? If you really take the time, patience, and opportunity to be a traveller, you might be surprised to learn that some of the people you judge/look down upon/make assumptions about have similar reservations regarding your lifestyle and that of your compatriots, and have as many negative and "narrowminded" attitudes about you as you do about them.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 12:17 PM
  #17  
Susan
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I haven't travelled as extensively as some of you other posters, but I must say that one of the most striking things I bring home from my travels is a greater understanding of history and our ancientness as a people. We do things here in the US as if we've invented the best way to, say, build roads or lay out a community, but when I visit places with buildings and roads that are thousands of years old I see the wisdom in other cultures that comes with time. This has made me feel more humble as an American and therefore less judgemental.<BR><BR>As far as racism goes, the obvious answer I know is to say I feel more accepting of others' differences. In particular, when I've been somewhere struggling with a second language and I encounter people who smile at me and do what they can to help, I try and preserve that moment in my mind and give it back to someone similarly struggling with English back home. Travel does make me feel more connected to all the people in the world. Sorry if that sounds like the PC answer. Maybe in 20 more years I will feel differently?
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 12:22 PM
  #18  
L
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Pete sounds a bit strange and laconic ... exactly what is it you want that we can give you, Pete? Try to be specific ... you feel like a racist and you're gulity about it ... you blame that on your travels ... is that the origin, or just the way you want to see it? You seem confused about what you want. Ciao, L
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 12:23 PM
  #19  
Patrick
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Perhaps sitting safely in conservative Wyoming where I assume you had little contact with other races or culture it was always nice to believe that you had no racial prejudices. But once you got out into the world and faced those differences, it caused those underlying feelings you never had to worry about to surface?<BR>Sort of like the age old statements, "I don't mind black people at all, so long as my daughter doesn't marry one and they don't move into my neighborhood." Maybe the problem is that you've visited their "neighborhood" and you are the outsider so it makes you uncomfortable.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 12:40 PM
  #20  
Laura
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Hey Pete, do you know Jim and Loretta from Rollins? My friend says that everyone in Wyoming knows each other. She spotted a man and his wife in Athens looking at the ruins. When she got close enough to them, she spotted a "Wyoming" hat on the man. That place seems to breed intolorance, remember the gay man "mounted" on the fence post? That really sickened me.<BR>Now to the post question. I have become more tolorant of others. I don't even mind when I hear Spanish being spoken in the States anymore <BR>
 

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