Readers who frequent this space might assume (correctly) that I enjoy travel, especially so to places where I don’t speak the language, don’t know what’s in the food and can’t drink the water.
Back in the days when it was possible to travel in Europe on $5 a day, my wife and I honeymooned across that continent for a summer on slightly more than $6 daily, combined. Today we spend more than that for our morning coffee; but we enjoy the adventures no less or no more.
I suppose on some level we have been making up for the lack of diversity of our childhood homes in the Midwest and our nose-to-the-grindstone approach to high school. Neither one of us ever thought of study abroad, or had time for it, as we pursued good grades and gratified ourselves and others in school-related activities.
This is in sharp contrast to the foreign exchange student from Germany who spoke last month at the annual meeting of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel. His family has hosted two students from China and he is now being hosted by a family in the USA. The point he made was this: He prefers to learn about life from experiences, not stereotypes.
And so do I. I just got to this realization later than this fine young man from a small town in Germany.