If I had a million bucks, I would send everyone I know on a trip wherever s/he wanted to go. For the open-minded, travel - whether it is local, national or international - encourages tolerance and global citizenry (among other things). As a culture enthusiast, travel is another way for me to immerse myself in a local culture, pretend I'm a local (laughing), learn and then share - right here on OBG. And although you certainly don't have to travel to learn about different cultures, there is something terribly eye-opening about participating in local customs and traditions when you're right there on the spot.
Last month, I signed a contract with American Airlines BlackAtlas.com to travel and provide content on its Web portal, won a spot in Wyndham Worlwide's Women on Their Way 2011 Local Nation contest, and was featured on two Web sites (here and here) about my very important work with youth travel. What a remarkable way to start off the new year! Not only am I extremely grateful, but I am further motivated to encourage travel to anyone who longs to get away from it all...and learn.
Someone recently sent me an email that closed with "Thank you for bringing the world to my front door" and I instantly began to blush. What a compliment. For me, that means I'm doing my job. To that end, I would like to challenge you to pick a destination and Just Go. Doesn't matter if it's the next city over, another state within the US, an island in the Caribbean, or a trip to Asia or Dubai. Just Go.
Oh yeah...and take me with you. ;-)