I’ve always loved travelling, even long before I could travel on my own, I used to love leaving my own country with my family or school and exploring new places and cultures. There’s a beauty to the world beyond our own doorsteps which opens us up to a whole new way of living, expanding our minds and our horizons. And I often find myself wondering how different a world we’d live in if everyone had the opportunity to travel and see things from a different perspective. Would we find ourselves in a world that is much more accepting of diversity?
Together with my love of travel comes my love of science fiction. My first major solo trip to Canada was to a convention. One that not only opened my eyes to the world of the ‘sci-fi con’ but also helped me to create friendships that still last to this day. Some of the most important and closest friendships in my life have come from travelling and conventions. I’ve made connections with people globally that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. Be it through vacations, temporary work visas, or events in other countries. In fact I’m sitting next to a member of my chosen family right now whom I met through both my love of science fiction and my love of travel.
My community is as wide and diverse as I could want it to be, and it’s scattered across the planet. I have friends and family from Vancouver. to California, to London, to Amsterdam, to Australia, and New Zealand. We’re spread far and wide, but we all have so much in common. We love to travel, we love to explore new places and to learn things about other communities. We are always a phone call, a text, or an email away, and we will always be there as quickly as possible for each other, and we all passionately believe in making a difference in the world. We raise money for charities through our science fiction fandom connections, whilst travelling, and together. I’ve held events with my community in London, Toronto, in Seattle, in The Netherlands, anywhere we can get permission to. Because we understand the importance of helping others.
Travellers are some of the most positive and creatively inspirational people that I work with, which is why I choose to surround myself with them. They always have the most captivating stories and I learn more from them than I ever did in school. Through the friendships I’ve made whilst travelling, my education has increased tenfold. I’ve gained a more complete picture of the world than I ever did in my European Politics class.
As travellers we see the good and bad of the countries we visit, particularly when we don’t follow the organised tours, but plan our own trips. But I love knowing that the smallest act of kindness can make the biggest impact. A smile to a worn out worker trying to look after their family can mean more than a gift of charity. A conversation with that homeless person on the street may mean more than money hurriedly tossed at them as you walk past. Each act of kindness we offer makes an impression on the person who receives it, and leaves a little piece of us behind. Just as each act of kindness we receive leaves an impression of the person who bestowed it upon us with us.
So next time you’re travelling, leave something positive behind. Even if it’s the smallest act of kindness.
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