Blogging 109 … Word Travel: combating prejudice 

travel

Mark Twain’s quote from his book, The Innocents Abroad, rings true.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

My travels overseas have shown me how little people know about Nigeria and the African continent and revealed my prejudice and penchant for stereotypes. If you never travel and watch only one TV channel, you may conclude that Europe is awash with refugees, America with gun violence, the Middle East with terrorism, and Africa with war, poverty, and disease.

But hopping on a plane, train, or bus and going miles and miles away from home can be expensive. However, we’re not limited by budget if we can read. Literacy and internet access provide cheaper alternatives to confront narrow-mindedness.

Like most of my friends, I remember travelling to faraway places as a girl through the books I read. The writers stimulated our senses as we journeyed with them, so we were familiar not only with the sights, sounds, and smells of places, but also with their peoples and culture. We lived in Mallory Towers and were Famous Five detectives.

What we enjoyed was a kind of unilateral intimacy. But now, the internet has not only made content readily available, but also fostered greater connection. In his book, Platform, Get Noticed in a Noisy World, Michael Hyatt says that social media has taken connection to a whole new level. It makes possible bilateral intimacy—engagement. This means our virtual travel experiences are richer since we can confront a writer’s bias as well as ours in conversation. We can also give feedback and receive more insight from the contributions of others.

To me, one of the coolest things about blogging is the opportunity to travel—to journey along with readers to their worlds in the comments they leave behind. Every time I write, even on a subject I’m an authority on, I learn from the myriad perspectives readers bring. Sometimes I pour my jumbled thoughts down just waiting for readers’ comments to make sense of my thoughts.

It’s difficult to approach most topics with an ‘empty’ mind because our minds are usually already ‘full’. But if we’re willing to engage, we’ll see that we don’t have to agree with another viewpoint, sometimes all that’s needed is, “Oh, I see where you’re coming from; I’ve never walked that road before.”

Blogging has made travel—broad, wholesome, charitable (and uncharitable), views of men and things, possible for me.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/sign-places-travel-information-429419/

 

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20 thoughts on “Blogging 109 … Word Travel: combating prejudice 

  1. Timi, this was great how you expressed being a blogger, we “see” the world, through other’s eyes.
    Mark Twain traveled across the country and met the everyday, hardworking heroes, while writing for newspapers and finally, books. He had a fascinating head for details, while serving them up with dry witty humor. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True, that travel can combat some prejudice and open up to new learning….if a person is willing to step out of their group of travellers. I tend to think that if one makes an effort to learn about their own diverse neighbours in person, with frequency, etc. that can help even better..how to live well side by side.

    As for Nigeria: I still know very little about it. I sense, that your interest in blogging is on broader topics rather than on your country of origin or even directly about what it means to be non-white Dutch where you are now.

    By coincidence a friend from work, is originally from Nigeria. She returned to visit family home just recently and now back in Canada in the throes of work. We spend more time comparing various cities of Canada where we’ve been than much on Nigeria.

    (Yes, I have an overtly Canadian blog. I must be drunk on my country or somethin’. Or maybe just narrow.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They say charity begins at home, so yes, we need to make effort to know our immediate neighbors.

      Lol, I wouldn’t describe you as narrow. Drunk on Canada, you maybe, which isn’t bad, but from what I’ve seen you’re interested in reading about other parts of the world too. Besides, Canada is a big chunk of the world 🙂

      I like to see myself as a cultural ambassador and although my blog isn’t about Nigeria, I enjoy sharing stories about Nigeria from time to time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re so right, Timi. Travel helps eradicate prejudices. And blogging introduces us to so many people around the world. I’m glad I took the plunge and started my blog. It enabled me to meet you and other wonderful bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I met you too. Blogging on this platform has taught me plenty, especially how to tell stories, ‘travel’ with a global audience… how the things that connect us are universal.

      Thank you!

      Like

  4. My geography teacher said this in another way, you can seat in you living room and travel round the world, meaning studying all about the world from the globe, of cos then who knows about internet. Thanks for letting me travel with you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In secondary school, I loved geography! I had an atlas at home which I read and read, and a globe that I stared at and turned around often! I travelled a lot!

      It’s nice to travel together. You encourage me with your comments and I learn from your perspective. 🙂

      Like

  5. I think you hit this one out of the park, Timi.

    We watch a Travel Show with Joseph Rosendo and he concludes every episode with the first part of that Mark Twain quote ~ “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” He’s right, but we don’t have to go through TSA checkpoints to travel these days. We can use our internet connectivity to go where others have been and see things through their eyes.

    Blogging broadens our horizons without emptying our wallets.

    Like

  6. I’ve discovered the same joys about blogging, Timi. I’ve always travelled and believed that each day provided an education. Blogging has opened up a whole new perspective, however. And, in many ways, on a much more personal level. Over a year’s time I feel we really come to know the people we follow and those who follow us. New friends are made. And we gain new insights into their worlds. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reading your blog made me realize how well travelled you are and how much you enjoy your travels. I admire your appetite for learning and I’m glad WordPress connected us as you’ve given me a peek into another world.

      Like

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