Cultural Travel and Being a Gobal Citizen

Cultural travel  and being a global citizen is more dimensional in scope than many of us like to acknowledge. Cultural travel is more than just choosing a place for travel, or going to a place that you have always longed to go. It engages deeper layers of understanding, intellectual inquiry, and seeing the world through the lens of the human spirit, as well as the mind. There is a wonderful article in “The Harvard Crimson” that speaks to ideas of being a global citizen. Here is an excerpt.

Although being a global citizen implies extensive travel and some familiarity with foreign languages and conspicuous aspects of cultures such as food and drink, the concept should really be defined by one’s ability to engage with and adopt different perspectives meaningfully when viewing the world. This cannot be achieved without a thorough and serious engagement, both academic and otherwise, with foreign languages and cultures in a genuine context. Just as travel alone is not enough, I think that reading the Economist cover to cover every week is likewise neither necessary nor sufficient to make a global citizen. One must truly immerse oneself in a different culture in an intellectual and humble manner in order to gain the knowledge and perspective necessary to alter one’s worldview positively and fundamentally.

Children in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Children in Sulawesi, Indonesia- Photo taken by the Caty Carlin

The game of life is much larger than we delude  ourselves into believing. Cultural travel and being a global citizen requires a willingness to humble ourselves to “difference.” By opening our perceptual lens to what is common among all cultures, we are knitted to humanity through the human heart as well as our minds. How would you define being a global citizen? Read this wonderful article by Charlotte Chang in the Harvard Crimson.


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