20 Things Learned From Traveling Around the World for Three Years

Civil Society, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Media

Gary Arndt, Author of Everything-Everywhere.com
August 23, 2010

On March 13, 2007, I handed over the keys to my house, put my possessions in storage and headed out to travel around the world with nothing but a backpack, my laptop and a camera.

Three and a half years and 70 countries later, I’ve gotten the equivalent of a Ph.D in general knowledge about the people and places of Planet Earth.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

1) People are generally good

2) The media lies

3) The world is boring

4) People don’t hate Americans

5) Americans aren’t as ignorant as you might think

6) Americans don’t travel

7) The rest of the world isn’t full of germs

8 ) You don’t need a lot stuff

9) Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive

10) Culture matters

12) Everyone is proud of where they are from

13) America and Canada share a common culture

14) Most people have a deep desire to travel around the world

15) You can find the internet almost everywhere

16) In developing countries, government is usually the problem

17) English is becoming universal

18) Modernization is not Westernization

19) We view other nations by a different set of criteria than we view ourselves

20) Everyone should travel

Full article here to see elaborations for each of the twenty entries