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At no time in history has travel been so easy as it is now. There are flights to every country in the world, and within each country too there are excellent means of transportation, which take the traveller to every spot that he wants to go to. It is a fascinating feeling that almost every human being has: To want to travel to far off places to visit other people, and see for himself how they live. It is almost as if a person’s education is not complete unless he has travelled.
It has been believed for centuries that travel does indeed broaden the mind. A person who travels to a foreign country sees that what he has thought was life has not the same meaning as it does to others. If one travels to some of the beautiful islands of Indonesia, one will see fisherman going out to fish. Seeing a fisherman catching fish expertly with a primitive net is an education in itself.
What is more fascinating is when we see him count the exact number of fish he needs and throw the rest back into the sea. When asked he will tell you that that is all he needs and might be surprised that you actually asked him that question. Living in so called ‘progressive’ countries it may be difficult to see that his relationship to nature is like a son to a mother. He takes from her, with gratitude, what he needs — that is all.
It is this type of experience that the traveller must have in order to broaden his mind. It is not to be got by just looking at old buildings, or swinging in night clubs.
Travel broadens the mind only if the traveller uses a lot of discretion in choosing where he wants to go. The rush tours which are so popular and which show you the so called ‘best’ parts of a country will hardly broaden the mind. Most of the time the tours are tied to a clock. There is enough time only to ‘see’ things; that’s all. I remember a time when I was given half an hour to ‘see’ five a hundred year old temple which was about a square kilometre in diameter. It would have been impossible to fully see and appreciate the temple in one day; that was how beautiful it was. Needless to say the I saw almost nothing. Such travel serves no purpose.
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