Beggars and billionaires

On what we seek when we travel

People travel because they are in search of contrast.

Contrast provides us a sense of perspective, a sense of your smallness in the world, a sense of your fortune, a sense of our connectedness, a sense of who we are and where we’re going. (The opposite is equally as true for those traveling from the fringes of progress to the epicenters.)

So when people lament a place, like Bali for example, isn’t the same anymore because it’s become so developed, what they’re morning isn’t the progress, but the contrast that place used to provide.

As the world becomes smaller and smaller, as the furthest corners of the globe begin to share more and more in common — by way of globalization, education, and technology advancement — the type of contrast we’ll find will surely change.

But just as there will always be beggars and billionaires, there will always be a stark contrast between those places at the leading edge of progress and those at the trailing edge, between “new” societies and those millenia old. 

So as much as we will miss they way things are, we can rest assured that the deep, expansive contrast that makes room for the gradient of all creation, will never narrow.

There will always be a place in the universe we can go — whether it’s inside ourselves or the other side of the world — to gain a sense of who and where we are in the universe.

🤝 Stay in touch

I send an email several times a year with a handful of the most interesting things I’ve written or uncovered at home, abroad, and on the web.

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