British Invasion: Why being foreign works for me.

Edward Gove '15, Opinion Editor, Online Editor

People are like ponds. They need fresh water coming in or they stagnate and go green and murky. Travel is, in my view, that reinvigorating trickle. I pity those who do not want to travel, those who are completely happy with staying put and never wanting to explore, because they are boring, boring, boring… Those who travel or, at least, who want to travel are somehow more rounded, more interesting, sexier people. And the world is getting smaller. It has never been easier or cheaper to see the world. You can go and visit the Pyramids in Egypt and stay in the lap of luxury; you don’t even need to dispense with your roast dinners if you do not wish to. That said, given the situation over there, I’d probably head somewhere else.

You see, I’m foreign; I’m not from around these parts. And before coming here to study, I was under the impression, as is much of the rest of the world, that Americans are only dimly aware that there are places existing beyond their coastline. That any American who wished to leave this country was some kind of deviant. But since arriving here I have found that that is simply not the case. Most people that I have met have expressed some wish to head over to Britain [where I am from]. Travelling in Europe too is a popularly expressed desire.

Here in America, there is so much, and I can completely understand why some people can go their whole lives without wishing to leave. You can ski, surf, sail and shoot all manner of things here, and then follow that up with an inconceivable amount of food lathered in sauce. There is nothing here that you cannot do elsewhere in the world. Except not be in America.

At Easter, I was in Vietnam, not for anything particular, but solely to have a look around. And I adored it. It’s so entirely different from the sanitized, moderated western countries of Europe and America. It was so much fun. And the food was so delicious. You Americans would love it, I’m sure. Although, pretending to be Canadian would probably not be a terrible idea…

That being said people who travel can be just as awful as those who don’t. Have you ever been in conversation with someone who has just been on a trip to Guatemala, Cambodia or literally anywhere, and has returned home with ‘a better grasp of who they are as a person’ and a plastic model of the Buddha? Because they are awful, awful, despicable human beings.

The world is getting ever smaller and people are becoming more and more familiar with different cultures. To attempt to isolate yourself and stay safe in your corner of your town in your country is to shrink into yourself and become a mollusk; hiding inside your home when anything even vaguely interesting happens.

So pick somewhere that you would like to go. Anywhere. And feel yourself get more interesting. And more sexy.