Monday, May 4, 2009

Why We Travel to Brave New Worlds


Posted by Travel Sentry

It's a great time to travel the world. Hit the road. Time and money will always be in short supply, so go now before it's too late. There is no education more interesting, valuable and self-satisfying than that gained by traveling to far-flung locales. Travel takes the fear out of foreign ways and opens brave new worlds.


This morning I came across this article entitled
"Brave New Worlds" written by Joshua Cooper Ramo, the author of "The Age of the Unthinkable." And so it seemed appropriate to share Ramo's words on evolving in the time of uncertainty and insanity. He makes a good argument to hold on for a brave new world. Here are some excerpts from his article published in Departures Magazine...


"To begin with, it's worth noting that all the insanity around us notwithstanding, there will be a moment when this age will start to make sense. That brave new world will look very different than it does now. And - though this may be the hardest thing to imagine, what with the economy in shambles and creeping anxiety about ideas we hold dear - in some ways it will look better. But it is also true that there is no book of answers we can take off the shelf, peruse quickly as if looking up a forgotten recipe, and then snap shut with a nod and the acknowledgment, Now, I understand this age. No, in an era in which the improbably has somehow become the inevitable - when the world's most solid-looking financial system tumbles into chaos in less than a year, when countries we thought pleasant turn dangerous, when our own lives seem constantly assailed by fresh risks - the old rules are frankly of very little use. Optimism and an innovative spirit matter a great deal now. Yet there will be many dark days ahead when it will be hard to get too far from that old and unnerving aphorism of Mao Zedong's: A revolution isn't a dinner party...

"It's as if we've moved from playing an already complex game of chess to some sort of endlessly changing puzzle (think ten-dimensional Sudoku). Answers that our experts insist are the best choices, answers that make sense one day - attack terrorists or bail out banks - not only fail, but appear to backfire. If you sit in the cafes in south Beirut and watch Hezbollah build new neighborhoods and become stronger even under siege, if you order coffee in the lobby of the Poly Plaza building in Beijing where China's newly powerful investment fund is based, if you feel the stiff tension in Mexico City's trendy Zona Rosa district: you certainly get a sense of new forces starting to shift and collide...our only chance is to get out of the house and start looking for signs of the new. Travel, tourism, and culture instantly become more than hobbies or distractions; they are transformed into our best hope of understanding...

"While we may be living in an age of unthinkable disruption, we're not condemned to be mere victims. Each of us can play in this game of mixing and matching ideas. Individuals have never had more power. And this means we are in a sort of race, because though it is true that 90 percent of nongovernmental organizations were created in the last ten years, it is also true that 90 percent of suicide bombings occurred in that same span. What lies ahead of us now is this sprint between forces of good and forces of bad. It is a race we are all part of, like it or not. The new global risks, from financial panic to computer viruses, hit everyone evenly. There's no hiding. But if the world's current instability is written out in your latest bank statement, it is also spelled out in the ambition of your kids to make new and faster Internet sites, of your friends to lend a hand to one another, and maybe even in your own instinct that we've arrived at a moment when you can pursue work that combines your passion for the world with something that has been aching in your soul. This urge to shape and create explains why what often seem like our greatest moments of peril sometimes turn into historic moments of reinvention. Think of how some setback in your own life simply laid a foundation for still greater success.

"Mao was right. Revolution isn't a dinner party. It is the chance for something better. It is the chance to cook up something out of our dreams, to develop new recipes that fit appetites that somehow are different than they were a year ago, to be decent on a scale we might not have imagined possible. And it's this that makes this an age of unthinkable possibility, a moment when we can ceaselessly surprise ourselves for the better. We're not being served anymore at the table of history. We're cooking for ourselves and enjoying, again, the full and dangerous and unnerving pleasure of creation."

2 comments:

Irina said...

World tour!!! This is my first dream in my life. Never will I get any chance for world tour. What ever I am not feeling sad for this. But I am enjoying world tour by reading article, blog etc. I can’t remember; I was reading in a blog where it said that, “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”In fact I agree with this.

Gerry Davidson said...

Well said. Thanks