41 countries and counting. Argentina to Zimbabwe. All 50 states in America. Well, 51 if you include Puerto Rico as they are trying to become a state.
I’ve learned a lot on this journey called life. I can tell you what bakery in Paris makes the best sweet rolls and what is the most favorable sauce for ‘the barbie’ in Australia.
You know what the biggest lesson I’ve learned though? It’s simple really.
People are fairly the same everywhere.
If you set aside religious traditions, language, fashion and the different ways of getting from place to place, people aren’t that much different.
Whether you just woke up in a hut in Kenya or are bedding down for the night at a miners home in Wales, most everyone in the world does the same thing.
We all wake up, interact with the family and people in the community, spend some of our waking hours trying to make a living, eat meals with family or friends, catch up on the latest gossip and eventually go to bed.
What makes travel for me rewarding and interesting is the constant variations on the common human theme.
While we’re the same, we’re also different. Some of the greatest pleasures I’ve had on the road is getting to watch and witness simple, human interactions that everyone will see as familiar, yet colored with the tapestry of foreign tongues.
Maybe it’s parents playing with their children in the plaza, a couple in love walking by the river or protesters marching through the streets, Traveling reminds me that we are all essentially the same.
That is one of the best lessons to learn.
**Jerry Nelson** * is a native of Hot Springs, Virginia. A world class photographer, his work has appeared in many of the nation’s leading media outlets. He currently resides with his wife Ale in Argentina where gauchos, futbol and ‘La Pampas’ hold his attention. *