I enjoy traveling, seeing new places and experiencing different cultures and cuisines. I actually find it to be quite exhilarating. Some of my favorite trips have been to the other side of the world to countries and cultures that are very different from my own. The best trips I’ve taken have been those where I could integrate with the locals and not be so much of a tourist. In other words, I was able to assimilate for a short period of time into the daily routine of the locale I was visiting. During those trips, I had the best experiences and the best cuisine of all my trips because those experiences and food were not designed to cater to my American tastes and preferences. They were genuine to the place I was visiting.
What makes travel abroad so appealing to me is the diversity of experience. There are so many wonderful places, people and foods throughout our world that it’s a shame if we don’t have the opportunity to experience them. In the United States, the word diversity has become political and as a result combative. I don’t want to discuss diversity in political terms because it shouldn’t be political. Just as investing well requires diversifying our portfolios well (Ray Dalio), living well requires diversifying our life experiences well.
I know this is a blog about investing but on Election Day, I felt prompted to write something a little different today. My analogy between investing well and living well may be a stretch but it makes sense in my simple mind. So much of what we actively pursue in our lives today is simply seeking out confirmations of our existing beliefs or preconceived notions that we’ve lost touch with the wonder of being exposed to and learning new things, meeting and getting to know different people and exploring new ideas that we hadn’t considered before. The wonder of learning new things, of exposing ourselves to new experiences and of meeting new people that are different from us has lost its luster in so many of our lives. It’s really a shame because we are missing out on some of the best things life has to offer.
At the conclusion of a divisive election, in the middle of a highly contentious period in our country’s history, we can only hope that reason and intellectual humility will prevail and that the wonder of learning and experiencing new things and people is rediscovered no matter who wins the election you might care about the most.