Travel is Fatal

Travel is Fatal Every time that I’ve forced myself to leave my comfort zone in order to experience someplace or something new, this has been my takeaway…

In the wise words of Mr. Twain: “Travel is Fatal”…

My personal experience has shown me that while I’ve evolved to be able to form assumptions about things I know little of, rarely are these assumptions very close to reality…

It’s so easy to form notions about people, places or things before we experience them directly – we have the Interwebs and the boobtoob to give us the high level, with a spin or twist on it… and whether we want it to or not, our indirect exposure shapes our views and opinions – often times, incorrectly so…

Each and every time that I’ve ventured out to try something new – often times scared and with worse-case-scenarios playing on a loop in my mind – I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn that my assumptions were pretty far off base from reality…

More often than not, the places that I though held nothing for me seemed as if they were formed with me in mind… The thing that I knew I “wouldn’t like” becomes my new favorite thing… The people that I was intimidated by or held negative assumptions about become my new friends as I realized that ‘different’ isn’t intrinsically ‘negative’ nor is it to be avoided…

It’s really easy to have opinions about things – even the things we only know of superficially… On the other hand, it’s very difficult to have opinions that actually line up closely with reality until you’ve been there, done that and experienced it firsthand..

Interesting side note on this: most scientists believe that our ability as a species to make assumptions evolved as a survival mechanism – with the default state being “OH CRAP! SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT! FEAR AND AVOID!!”…

When our ancestors were roaming a younger Earth, this approach to things not familiar made sense and was very much at the heart of ‘survival of the fittest’ – as the cautious ones were the most fit for survival… i.e. Avoiding a Wooly Mammoth entirely most certainly ensures you won’t be crushed by it…

Interestingly, our modern world and our comparatively safe modern existence took a lot less time to come to shape than our evolved survival mechanisms did – something that I feel the modern man is having difficulty coming to terms with at times… This said, it’s our job as modern humans to identify these systems for what they are – and to take advantages from them where we can, but to also cast them off when we’ve seen them to no longer be as relevant or accurate to the realities of the modern world…

This doesn’t go to say that there aren’t dangers or threats out there – just that our gut instincts, assumptions and prejudices aren’t necessarily the best mechanism to identify them with any longer…

While I don’t guess that I’d necessarily try to confront a wooly mammoth were the opportunity to present itself, I’m sure my modern brain reacted instinctually in a similar manner the first time that I boarded an airplane as my ancestors’ brains did as they processed seeing a wooly mammoth… and while this mechanism likely ensured that they survived long enough to breed, in today’s world this mechanism would most likely only ensure that I didn’t get to sample my newest new favorite thing…

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