When researching Millennials for a university essay, I read that we are the first generation to have been raised in an age of terrorism, internet culture, and job and financial uncertainty. The combination of them all has made us the most anxious generation to date. Brexit and now Trump have become another addition to the growing list of anxiety agitators – for me at least. I spent last Tuesday in turmoil as I stressed and fretted (read: ate junk food and cried over the climate change that Donald Trump doesn’t believe in) as to what the future may hold.
Call me dramatic, but thinking of all that our generation is facing – higher debts, lower incomes, home prices, financial crashes, rising racial tensions, Instagram likes (only half kidding), plus all those mentioned above – drove me into a state of panic. However what the internet doesn’t need right now is another opinion piece on how screwed we all are. What we do need is some thought as to how our own passions or skills can be used to help toward the changes we want to see.
For me, that passion would be the travel business I’m trying to start. (Please forgive me for using the p-word twice.) Initially I thought to myself, how on earth can travelling help in relation to everything that’s going on. But actually, opening our world when it seems to be closing in is exactly what we need.
“It is troubling how many countries are shifting from the universal, civic nationalism towards the blood-and-soil, ethnic sort. As positive patriotism warps into negative nationalism, solidarity is mutating into distrust of minorities, who are present in growing numbers. A benign love of one’s country is being replaced by an urge to look on the world with mistrust.” The Economist
With the Trump’s and Farage’s of the world gaining momentum, there seems to be an increasing amount of prejudice and division. What travelling can do is break down those divisions and connect people. People from parts of the world that we may not understand or may even fear. People who, when we really get to know them, are probably not to dissimilar to ourselves. Looking outside of the borders we are limited to, understanding other cultures and learning how other people live, is probably one of the best things we could do. So somehow, I want to incorporate this value into my business, to create trips where people from all over the world can make real connections and become more aware and compassionate of each other.
Momondo did a really good campaign on this where they invited people to test their DNA and see how connected they were to the rest of the world – definitely recommend checking out this video.
“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.” Mark Twain