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
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
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
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
Truly, a broad mind can travel anywhere.