International Travel — Bridges of Friendship

Much of my international travel is in support of humanitarian work, so, as a result, I see difficult places and hear gut-wrenching stories. I meet with people who are exhausted, yet full of joy. I dine with people who have given up everything, but have gained more than they could ever ask or imagine.

When traveling, one thing I always try to remember is to laugh at myself and with other people. If I can’t carry joy with me then I’m probably doing more harm than good.

One of my favorite things when I travel is befriending locals who never expected to make a friend. Shopkeepers, waiters or waitresses, taxi drivers, and hotel staff are all people I interact with daily. No matter where I go, the common language spoken between us is big smiles and laughter. My colleagues and I always do our best to be advocates of loving one another and building bridges of friendship across a variety of cultures.

The media may often tell us that my culture and another culture aren’t supposed to get along, but I never find that to be true when I climb into a taxi or order food at a restaurant. People everywhere are still people. I found this quote earlier today from a book I read years ago that sums this all up:

We crave kindness. We admire those who are strong yet gentle, patient, and in control of their thoughts, attitudes, and actions. — Jason Jaggard “Spark”

Every country I visit, I find that people simply crave kindness. Whether I like it or not, I represent more than just myself when I’m visiting other cultures and I hope that the strangers I meet will remember me as kind, humble, and someone who loves life.

Jonathan S. “Biscuet”

Written by

Colorado is home | Privileged to share amazing stories of hope from the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia through | Former Beijinger | Fly fisherman

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade