geography kid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I just finished a book about geography by Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings.  He goes into great depth about what geography buffs passions are, like geo cache, maps and atlases, and the National Geographic Bee, but one aspect that I wished he had gone into more depth with is that Americans don’t really like to travel abroad.  Now, I just happened to read an expose on countries that take advantage of Americans and what one can do to avoid falling into their traps.  That says a lot about how not street smart we Americans are.  Of course, people from all over the world come here and are supposed to adapt (and not given citizenship for years).

And then of course I have friends who have traveled everywhere and they are mostly liberals.  I hear about young people backpacking all over the world in order to find themselves and try to understand the world.  Maybe we have this responsibility to know about other countries and what’s going on there.

It seems to me that if one is to travel abroad in this country, you usually go to Europe.  Maybe because that’s where our ancestors come from.

I just met someone (well kind of a family friend) who has been to over 40 countries.  I’ve been to four continents: South America (Bolivia), Asia (China), Europe (Spain and United Kingdom), and of course the US and Canada.  I just went to an International Spring Festival where they had the gym of my former high school festooned with many countries and their attributes.  My friend eagerly approached almost every table and peppered them with questions.  I just kind of followed her around and observed the international dancers showing off on the stage.

It seems to me one kind of has to be a free spirit and/or very open minded to travel the world or even join Peace Corps.  I wonder if more Democrats or Republicans travel.

However, the United States has a massive influence on the rest of the world.  When I heard about Wall Street collapsing 6 years ago, I then subsequently heard that the rest of the world was having troubles because of us.  We export lots of corn and soybeans to developing countries, many of whom hate us probably because we have so much influence.  You always see movies of people who hate us and they are the enemy, but maybe this is because we have too much power (in military and such).

Going back to the Ken Jennings book, maybe if we knew more about other countries (he gives examples that the majority of us don’t), we’d be less likely to go to war with them.  That may be why some of them hate us.  Then we wouldn’t need to spend billions on the military if we had more knowledge of the other cultures in this world besides what we see on TV or the movies.

Of course, we don’t exactly go to war with everyone, but I’ve heard that we have military bases everywhere.  So therefore, we’re like monitoring everyone and maybe because we spend so much time (ie money) patrolling everyone we don’t really pay attention to more important things like education, culture, (and food!).

 

Advertisements