TL6 “The Mindful Traveler” By Bryan Riemer Cork, Ireland

If I were to describe myself as one of the travelers talked about in chapter 3 of “Becoming World Wise”, I would consider myself a carefree drifter. Since I have been here my main goal is to not let the little things upset me and just go with the flow. Of course Slimbach considers the carefree drifter as “…students who exchange the rare delight of engendering cross-cultural understanding for spending hours on end updating blogs and partying with other foreigners(p.80).” After reading this chapter I want to drift away from the flow and really consider “why, how, and with what effect we do what we do (p.74).” I plan on doing such a thing by taking the road less traveled when it comes to exploring not only Ireland but all of Europe. I will of course be a mass tourist at places such as Oktoberfest and Rome, but there is no getting around that. The places where I plan on being a mindful traveler include my trips to Berlin, Scotland and belfast. During these trips I plan on either traveling with only one other person or with a very small group who are looking to just take in the natural surroundings.

As a class in the Spring we created a working definition for what we thought a global community is; “A global community is comprised of all living things who make up smaller communities that are conjoined by the desire to achieve human rights.” During the Spring I 100% agreed with this definition because is captured the essence and purpose of civilization, but reading it over a few months later and having a different outlook on the global community I would like to change a few things about the definition. A global community is comprised of two groups, those who benefit from the commodities and/or services and those who produce the commodities and/or services. The economic conditions and social relationships of those who produce are typically hidden from the view of those who benefit.

Intentional participants of the global community have their specific characteristics but “mindful traveling” is not one of them. Mindful traveling is nearly impossible to accomplish in my opinion based on my revised definition of the global community. I believe that the best stage of traveling one can be a part of is one where they are not just aware of the conditions of the producers but see it first hand and witness it with there own eyes. If one can accomplish that then I believe they will be the closest thing to a mindful travel there can be.

Just in case it is unclear what the caption reads on this image It says, “Don’t take this literally. In real-life, these two houses would never be in the same neighbourhood.” My justification behind posting this picture is to show a couple things. First, when those who benefit choose a place to travel, weather is a big factor in deciding where they will go. As you can see the mansion has perfect weather while the house is being poured down on. Second, if these two places were both histhe-rainy-class-comictorical sites, the mass tourist, carefree drifter and even some mindful travelers would choose the mansion. The mass tourist would choose the mansion because it is more elegant and better for pictures. The carefree drifter would choose the mansion because they will probably be given a guided tour of the building and instead of learning on there own why the place is significant, the tour guide will tell them. Some mindful travelers might choose the mansion as well because they would have read up on both and were more interested in the mansion’s history than the house’s history. I hope I will become more aware of my surroundings after reading this and will definitely try and take the path less traveled during my adventures around Europe.

Source for pic:


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