By Irene Horst, Editor
The dictionary tells us that travel means "to move in a given direction or path or through a given distance." To me this means only the physical movement from one place to another. One can travel within one's own city, state, or country from one end to another. People often do. If you travel the expressways, you can see limitless miles of road and perhaps a change in vegetation. If you visit another part of the state or country, there will be different geographical regions and weather differences. You can stop in cities to see unusual architecture, beautifully decorated buildings, and creative art works. Many of us do this. Enjoyable as it may be, perhaps much of this could be experienced from an armchair watching a lovely travelogue.
That is why FIC does not limit itself to just travel. FIC provides Study Tours. A Study Tour, which does include travel, means that one is given the opportunity of going to another location to understand, experience, and participate in the life of the region. This is done not only by seeing things, but by meeting people who live there, learning about their lifestyles, and joining in some of their activities.
I read somewhere that travel is the only thing, upon which you spend money that will make you become richer. True, the money spent on the physical portion of travel results in giving you cultural experiences beyond measure. FICers have made friends all over the world from one encounter with people. Visits to their homes make one more understanding of their lives. Differences seem more tolerable and similarities much more celebratory. Seeing the areas through the eyes of a local citizen makes these places meaningful to us. The whole experience of a Study Tour fills one with awareness of the world around. We really are a "Small World After All" as the song which FICers sing on such Study Tours tells us.
The Ten Commandments of Travel on Study Tours
- Thou shalt not expect to find things as thou hast at home, for thou hast left thy home to find different things.
- Thou shalt not take anything too seriously, for an open mind is necessary for learning.
- Thou shalt not let the others interfere with your absorption of the culture around.
- Always be ready to accept new foods.
- Blessed is the person who can say thank you in any language, because it often will be worth more than money to the recipient.
- Thou shalt not worry, for he that worryeth has no pleasure and few things are fatal.
- Thou shalt not judge people or country upon the words of one person.
- Blessed is the person who can smile, for smiles are contagious and warming.
- Blessed is the person who knows how to listen. By giving your ears, you will receive another's heart.
- Remember thou art a guest in every place. He that treateth his host with respect shall reap honor upon himself.