I have thought many times, why do people come all the way to a new country if they are only going to sit by the pool in a hotel resort, find a way to loose themselves in alcohol or spend all day shopping at various locations for things they may never wear or use again or throw away when they return home.
This recent trip to Nepal has made me consider this practice, and the trigger has been the one thing I have tried to avoid, animals.
Animals seem to be a universal token or symbol it seems throughout this trip. The global symbol of what animals represent has been both familiar yet a little tedious to me. My worldview I feel to be exceptionally skewed due to my roles in animal related industry over the years. Although I have found myself not only wondering about the interaction that the locals have with other species that reside here, but also about the way in which tourists interact with them. The way they find familiarity in them and find comforts of emotion that resemble home. It seems that exploring these feelings is beneficial as it begins to allow bridges to be built into the communities we are visiting.
If we choose to embrace the feelings of familiarity, are we actually building connections with the cultures we are visiting? Does it give us an opportunity to find intrigue and ask more questions? It would be nice to explore the benefits of opening your heart a little further when you find familiarity in a foreign environment. It not only makes you more comfortable but provides an opportunity for the local to connect with your familiar emotions and together more bridges can be built.
What's your perspective?
Kristy Waddell, Pokhara, Nepal.
(Image, Henry Kramer)