We live in an age of unprecedented connection. Yesterday I finished my internship in England, it was a rainy London summer day when, at 5pm I hopped on a train to the airport. I boarded at 7:30 and landed in Barcelona in time for a late dinner and sangria with friends.
Today we woke up and started the bachelor party in style as we walked throughout Barcelona, got locked in a room with an hour to escape, ate phenomenal tapas, walked to the beach to enjoy the ocean waves, the beautiful sun, and each other’s relaxing company.
We are citizens of 4 continents coming together on an amazing cheap flight to celebrate our friends who are about to get married. We speak English, French, German, Spanish, Portugese, Tagalog, Romanian, Swedish, and probably more. We come from a dozen industries and backgrounds with many of us meeting each other for the first time in our lives. And yet, we are having an amazing multi-cultural time in a city that lives at a different pace from what we are used to.
We are blessed to be able to make a decision and fly down here for a week, financially, nationally, and attitudinally. We can afford to take the time and spend the money to travel. Our countries allow us to with relative ease and we have taken the time to keep a passport up-to-date. And we are unafraid to experience something completely new with a mix of old friends and new people who until yesterday were unknown and who tomorrow will be friends.
We get to experience the culture of a new city and a style of living that is so different from our own if only for a moment in time. For me, travel is about all of these things and is something that motivates and energize me. It makes me want to go to work so I can keep exploring and meeting new adventures head on.
This is something I only discovered two years ago but is something that I’ve learned to love intensely. What makes it more interesting is that I am actually following a trend among my peers. Did you know that 83% of U.S. lesbian and gay men have a current passport, compared to 34% of all adult Americans? We spend almost twice the amount on travel than the average American as well. It may be stereotypical but I love to travel because I get to practice and see tolerance of other lives and lifestyles and think it is an absolute shame that more people don’t get the opportunity.
These two things in combination came together today and I’ll let one of my friends explain it as he did this evening back at the hotel before dinner.
“You know what I find cool today, we had a big group of married people genuinely interested in your life. With you being comfortable being you. The way society should just be. People who just met you are 100% accepting because it’s not stigmatized like in the States. And people are actually “pushing” for more info – they are genuinely interested.”
Our world is getting more and more inter-connected. Easier to live, work, and push for greater experiences. Not just for gays like me, but for everyone. The news wants you to think the world is coming apart at the seams, that crime is on the rise and terrorism is at your door. The reality is, it’s better than we think and we just need to stay connected, experience something new, and learning more about each other.