Travel outside of one’s country irrevocably changes one’s perspective about the world, one’s own country, and–if you’re really lucky–oneself.
While in Astana, Kazakhstan, I saw the meaning of true mutual respect among teachers and students, “the” best hospitality I’ve ever known, and the kind of manic driving that makes any urban setting in the United States a passive joy ride. Note: I’m told by my hosts in Kazakhstan that driving in Turkey is even more manic.
In London, England, I attended a museum exhibit about the space race from the point of view of the Soviet Union. Much of what was shared is either glossed over or not present in US or World History curriculum.
Seoul, Korea is the most clean place anywhere, and there are not garbage cans to be found. People are just expected to clean after themselves. No one flicks cigarette buts out the window or set on the ground empty bottles and cans. There is much higher regard for the local environment displayed than seen in the United States…in general terms.
Writing is the same way. To improve and grow as a writer, we need to look at ourselves as someone from another country or planet. Reflect deeply on the strengths and challenges one has. Be honest with yourself, but do not look at areas of growth as spaces of weakness and validation that the skills are not there. Reflect, practice, and learn from others. Assume that “Any One” can be a teacher for just “the” right moment that you need.
Improve yourself, improve the world.
Dublin, Ireland streets are clean, at least from one day trip. Day two to follow. The people have a sense of humor that was noticeable among even the people I did not talk to. As I tour Ireland, I look forward to what shift in my prospect that will occur by the time I return to the US.