The United States of America has become a septic Petrie dish of politicians and civilians, fanning the flames of the festering dumpster fire that is xenophobia. I am a firm believer that every American citizen should travel abroad. When a person steps outside of their comfort zone and visits another country, one of the first things they notice is how similarly human we all are.
We all have family members that we either love, can't stand or both. We all find ourselves doing whatever we can to ensure that our children have the best that they deserve. We all want to love and be loved in return.
When I first traveled abroad, I went to Barcelona, Spain. After leaving the airport terminal, I caught the metro to the Airbnb.
When I got off the Metro, I could not help but notice the vast similarities between Barcelona and literally every other major American city. The exception being the most notable landmark La Sagrada Familia. There are no churches in the United States that come anywhere close to matching the immense beauty found in every corner of this structure.
There was, however, a period of adjustment. I found that things were more relaxed than I was used to at home. I realized that pickpockets were really the only thing I needed to worry about. I very quickly realized I did not need to wear my metaphorical armor, that I wear throughout cities in my homeland. Usually, when I walk through my city I tend to accentuate my very noticeable acumen.
I found that the fresh food markets were structured similarly, but were stocked with better food. The social clubs were wonderful places to meet, and have a conversation with the locals, watch sports, YouTube fail videos, and play video games. I flew halfway around the world and never felt more at home.
I have always been interested in learning about other cultures and am always open to meeting new people from other countries and welcoming them into my community. I learned at a very young age, that we all have more similarities than differences.
It is a tragedy to see how intolerant our nation has become. It is unfortunate that many Americans forget that the United States was founded by men foreign to this land.
America was always meant to be a beacon of light and hope, for all citizens of Earth in need of refuge.
It is important that human beings step outside of their comfort zones, and venture off to see the world. It is probably the most important thing anyone could do for themselves. It is impossible to have an accurate view of the rest of the world and the people living in it without seeing it for yourself.
I'll leave you with this thought. Xenophobia is mental quicksand.