In all the years of writing essays for my website, I have discussed about the importance of traveling outside North America. It is imperative if being educated and informed is something that you wish to be. I have traveled in America and in Canada. However, Canada essentially is an extension of the US. Overseas travel is critical. It is where learning occurs...on steroids. The British aristocrats went on the Grand Tour of Europe after completing their university education in the 19th century. It was the capstone to that educational experience. After I graduated from graduate school, I did a year at New College at the University of Edinburgh. The summers before and after that year, I traveled throughout Europe.
Interestingly, during the next several decades I have been to Africa, the Middle East, Indochina, Tibet, China, the South Pacific, and India. Some of those trips were tours that I took, some were tours that I conducted, some were for classes that I took, and I have taught overseas.
However, while not traveling, I have taught various humanity classes in the past two decades. This semester, I am teaching two world religion survey classes. One of the requirements was to attend worship outside their own religious background or their community. Christians had to pick religions like Islam or Buddhism. Muslims had to pick religions like Sikhism or Hinduism. In that way, they get exposed to another world. Of all the assignments in which they will participate during the semester, this is the one that they enjoy the most. This has been true over many years. This is my reply to them after reading about their experience.
Of all the places that I have been, Burma is the one country that had the most positive and profound experience on me. Aside from wanting to interview Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Lady, I truly enjoyed the people and the places in Burma.
While I spent a month there, I was not able to interview the Lady. I plan to return to Myanmar. I want to see some friends and try again to interview the most important world leader working for human rights for the people in her country.
This song by Elton John encapsulates me today.
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