You can Tell a Lot about Someone by Where They Travel

Article by: unknown author

Sat December 01, 2012 | 00:00 AM

My_collection_of_passport_stampsPhoto: Ho John Lee via Wikimedia Commons

My passport is my most treasured possession. I will log travel to probably twenty countries in 2013 and I certainly couldn’t do it without my passport. My second home is the world. And, yet, one of my closest friends swears by the relationship he’s built with his second home, a beachside cottage where he and his wife read, take baths, and rekindle their romance during twilight walks in the sand. This refuge from his battered weekday life as a litigator tells you a lot about his life.

I like to ask people, “What’s your favorite place in the U.S. or in the world?” When one person tells me it’s Las Vegas and another tells me Charleston, I know these two probably shouldn’t be seated next to each other at my next dinner party. Similarly, you can learn a lot by flipping through someone’s passport. I know someone who’s traveled to 80 countries but has never been to France. Blasphemous, you might say. But, he loves Africa and Asia and knows every nook and cranny of those developing regions. He doesn’t give a damn about the Eiffel Tower. And, he’s a bit of rebel and adventurer by nature. So, yes, his passport full of Burkina Faso and Bhutan tells me that he’s someone who will always appreciate the novel and the break from the status quo.

What does your passport say about you? Do you opt for the familiar and comfortable? Do you even have a passport? Travel is a litmus test. It’s a magnifying mirror for who you are and where you are in your life. Yes, I have a natural tendency to being culturally curious, but I was also called the “curious white boy” in my inner city high school. It’s easy to judge someone else’s travel agenda, but first ask yourself, “How am I using my travel experiences as a gateway to discovering who I am?”