Diversity in The Traveler’s World – Respecting One Another

As travelers we are very quickly thrown into a diversity of cultures and have to mesh with different backgrounds.  It is not an easy task to know what to say and how to act without offending someone while abroad. Getting thrown into a new culture can be overwhelming, and many of us travelers cope with this either by being totally obnoxious or completely reserved.  On the one hand you should not be too careful and sensitive in your new environment, but at the same time, you need to understand that you have to show respect for the native people and their culture and you must do your best to be careful of what you say and do.

One of the definitions of Diversity in the Global Community is: “The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual regardless of his/her nationality.”

There needs to be a new component added to the components in Diversity. Just as the T in LGBT stands for transgender, there should be a T in the dimensions of Diversity that stands for transnational : extending or going beyond national boundaries. Corporations can be transnational and therefore why can’t people be designated as such.  We travelers especially because of our frequent crossing of national boundaries, are naturally transnational . ( Hashtag #transnational)

Since as travelers we have taken the time and effort to go to a country, should we not use the opportunity to mingle with the people of that country and possibly learn about their geography, religion and customs.  The best way to learn is through face-to-face interaction with persons of the culture we would like to learn more about. In today's world we need to respect and know about each other’s cultures, and respect each other’s values and beliefs. Life then becomes easier for us, and we hopefully learn a lot of good things from each other.

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