Perhaps for some travellers the experience is indeed mind expanding. Perhaps some travellers discover different cultures and, in the process, find that the encounter changes their attitude towards other people, and other ways of life, in a positive manner.
If that is the case, then travelling has indeed broadened the mind of the traveller.
But, what of those “others” who has been travelled to?
Sadly, too often in today’s world, those who live in places travelled to are damaged by the encounter. (A previous blog piece has commented upon this.)
Let us return to the traveller.
What if the saying about travel and broad minds is turned inside-out, turned upon its head?
The French novelist, Marcel Proust, claimed that “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
How might we obtain new eyes?
Some of the world’s most enlightened people (those with broad minds) hardly travelled at all.
Jesus is said to have travelled no further than 50km from his place of birth. Buddha travelled only through northern India and Nepal.
Ann Frank as a teenager was unable to travel outside her “secret annex” in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. Yet she left, in her diaries, an account written by an incredibly broad-minded young woman.
Stephen Hawking was confined to his wheelchair from his late twenties onward. Yet, his broad mind allowed him to travel anywhere – even to the edge of Black Holes.
Perhaps it can be better said that a broad mind can travel anywhere.
Of course, there is one journey that we can take that truly does broaden our mind. This journey requires no physical or geographical travel at all. This is the inward journey. The journey that takes us downward into the depths of Soul.
Travelling into this terrain (of Soul) is the most mind-broadening journey one can ever undertake. And there is no need to leave home; no need to disrupt other cultures; no need to leave carbon footprints in the environment.
Truly, a broad mind can travel anywhere.
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