School girl in Panajachel, Guatemala, selling fabrics. She says "Why don't you buy my stuff?" I gave her a little Australian flag.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Travel and prosperity go together like a horse and carriage.

Travel and prosperity, and peace in the World all go together. If everyone travelled around the world for 6 months when young, say early twenties, absorbing other cultures, then there would be no wars, I predict.

Young people travel as students, or tourists and as backpackers. The ones I have met come from prosperous countries. You can divide countries into 3 categories viz., Prosperous, So-So, and Hopeless. Here is my assessment.

The most traveled people come from New Zealand (me included), the reason being it is also the most isolated. Everyone goes around the world at least once in a lifetime to see if it really is as depicted in books and newspapers. Next most traveled are Australians and then the British and Americans. Of the Europeans I would put the order as Germany, Italy, France and Spain, but they seem not as well traveled as the Brits. Very frequent travelers are the Israelies particularly as backpackers in South America. African travelers are thin on the ground with notable exception of young people from South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

Conversely, I have never met ANY travelers from North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, Niger, Algeria and many other African and Middle East countries. This leads me to suggest that travel is a pursuit of people from prosperous countries who have found peace at home and are spreading it around the world. It follows that to encourage this activity Governments, Councils etc should promote easy and unrestricted travel, youth hostels, hospedajes and the like. My article on Tips for backpackers covers some of these points. Click HERE
Foto: Young itinerant sales girl holding Aussie flags at street restaurant in Panajachel, Guatemalan Highlands.

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