How the world shrinked and what to do about it.
I understand that this can be only my perspective. Growing up in Poland in 70s and 80s.. the communism time. There are many stories i can tell, which for me, as a child were normal. Looking at them now, from a grown up perspective, they are not so normal anymore. But, to be honest, what is normal these days:)
Travel abroad was a dream. We did travel across our country a lot and thanks to that, I was able to see the beauty of my land. Getting a passport was only for “chosen ones”. I am from the north of Poland, a beautiful city called Gdansk. A sailor land. I remember few chosen in my class whose fathers were sailors. They had all the things the rest of us were only dreaming. Branded jeans, not the once your father ordered at your local tailor shop. The foiled wrapped chocolate santas at Christmas and the aura of a better life.
If you had a family member living in America, which was a real treat, you were nearly as good as God. They would send you a parcel once or twice a year, full of these dreamy goods. Later on in life I realised that these dreamy goods were so easy to get across the ocean.
Yes, I spent many days on dreaming about going places, going abroad. I knew it might be never happening for me and I was, like other kids, making the best of my childhood.
Then the “iron curtain” melted away and suddenly we could apply for a passport. We became citizens of the world. Not so fast, we still needed visas to travel to any country which wasnt on the ex “iron curtain” list, but what a change. I got my passport and decided to travel as much as I could afford. This world behind the curtain was different for me and in many ways, very cold. It took me some time to get used to that world but it was interesting and exciting. Thats for sure.
Things were changing so fast. I look at the world now and it seems so small, so easy to go around, so easy to access. I look at my daughter, who was born in Ireland and who tells me her plans for her future. She thinks to study in UK or Italy or America. She visited more countries before she reached the age of 11 than me when I was 30. She says that living all her life in one country is simply boring.. I am so happy for her. Happy for the opportunity to see the world I was only dreaming about at her age.
I like this shrinking of the world. I like the fact that I can finally “read the whole book, not only one chapter”. Lets travel, lets see the world, lets become richer by meeting new people, understanding the differences and gaining respect for each other. Thats my wish for all of us.