How much of the world have you seen?
My answer: very little.
I have traveled very little in my life. It doesn't bother me much.
I recognize that it limits my impressions of people and life and the world at large, but on the same hand, I realize this and I hope it makes and keeps me humble. I hope that I am always, without having seen or lived it first hand, fully aware and respectful of the extravagance of my very existence here in America.
I have been to a few states here and there in the US. I have seen very little. Almost no great American land marks or history sites or institutions and so on.
If or when I travel it is specific. I am going to a destination to do something, like take the kids to Disney for their once in a life time experience or much more likely, going to see someone.
I have traveled alone only a handful of times and I don't know if they necessarily qualify as alone because the destination was always a person I was longing to visit and spend time with.
Traveling is somewhat stressful to me. I am uncertain, prone to getting lost, unsteady and easily confused or intimidated. There are things I skip because I am afraid to ask. I am wide eyed and panic-y in a way. I need to be in a place many times before it is familiar.
Oddly, sometimes I feel like I know the world or have seen it because of the books I've read. Sometimes the pictures painted in books are so clear I could believe that I've been there, tasted it's delights, smelled the cities and lain still under it's moonlight.
I feel like it is the American expectation to travel. I know it's the Christian expectation to travel and mission-ize in Third World underdeveloped countries. Even here inside my own state, there is a sort of disbelief when you reveal you haven't been someplace "famous". I thought it this morning, while wasting time reading Facebook updates. My brain actually thought, "Wow! Another person has gone to that place and is raving about how fantastic it is. I've been hearing how cool it is for years now, (more than a decade actually) and I still haven't been. Don't respond and say you've never been, don't let on."
Hello? High school much? What weird things we do to ourselves inside our brains.
I wonder why we are driven to travel and see things for ourselves. I wonder why we need to see so many things live and in person. Yes, I decry technology all the time, but on the other hand, maybe I can see and learn enough about a monument or landmark or natural wonder through that technology that I can spend my time and energy and money differently. That's not at all to say travel is bad or useless or stupid. I just simply wonder why we possess so deeply this drive to go to the far ends of the earth to see everything ourselves with our very own eyes.