The Great Gift of Travel

August 13, 2023 by  
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For many years, I have preached about how great travel is for the human brain and body. To visit new places or countries lifts or expands the mind so much and can help you understand and accept the differences between us and people from other countries and totally different cultures, beliefs, religions, and political views. I strongly believe that travel makes the world a much better place for you and your children and your grandchildren.

I was introduced to travel at a very young age when my father was assigned to a job in Turkey to help people there get more out of what they were doing for a living. Mostly he showed them how to improve their production, whether it was farming, ranching or writing their own story. He did a great job and helped lot of people.

That experience, and our family traveling to nearby countries like Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Italy, France, England, and many more, really grew my love of travel. Those experiences motivated me, later in life, to travel to many other places. I have now traveled to 95 countries!!

For example, earlier this year Kimberly and I visited Barcelona, Vigo, and Cadiz in Spain, Lisbon in Portugal, La Harve and South Hampton in England, and when that all was done, we took that fantastic train ride that goes under the English Channel to Paris, France!

Then just last week we got back from a celebration of my upcoming 80th birthday with all my kids and grandkids — 38 of us all together. I took them on a European Disney cruise! What a great birthday gift. Well, oops, I was the one who paid for it all, but it was worth every penny.

When you want to give a great and powerful gift, it’s my opinion that one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids, grandkids, and even friends is the wonderful gift of travel to new and different places. It doesn’t matter if those new places are just new states or cities that they have never been to. It’s still a new experience that will lift their minds and spirits.

My advice to you, my readers, is that you think about what kind of traveling you’ve done recently and maybe look for different places that you can take your loved ones and friends. I can guarantee that they will remember those trips and thank you for the rest of their lives, especially those young kids. It’s a super gift that they can’t just throw away like stuff you might give them. It lasts a lifetime!

Thats my challenge to you — give the gift of travel and I’m pretty sure you will enjoy the experience immensely in giving it, traveling, and seeing how much your family and friends will love it!

Our World in Perspective

February 13, 2022 by  
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One of my good, long-term friends, Richard Biasetti, sent me the following. I thought it was super great info, so I wanted to share it with you. I hope you like it as much as I did! Richard is a great guy I met many, many years ago when we both lived in Ankara, Turkey!

Earth’s Population Statistics in Perspective

The population of Earth is around 7.8 billion. For most people, this is a large figure. However, if you condensed 7.8 billion into 100 persons and then converted that into various statistics about where and how people live, the resulting analysis is much easier to comprehend. So, out of 100 people:

11 are in Europe
5 are in North America
9 are in South America
15 are in Africa
60 are in Asia

49 live in the countryside
51 live in cities

75 have mobile phones
25 do not

30 have internet access
70 do not have the availability to go online

7 received a university education
93 did not attend college

83 can read
17 are illiterate

33 are Christians
22 are Muslims
14 are Hindus
7 are Buddhists
12 are other religions
12 have no religious beliefs

26 will live less than 14 years
66 will die between 15 – 64 years of age
8 are over 65 years old

What do these statistics tell us?

Well, if you can read, have a mobile phone, can surf the internet, and have gone to college, you are in a minuscule privileged lot — in that less than 7% category. Those privileges are something to be truly grateful for.

Of our 100 persons in the world, only 8 will live or exceed the age of 65. If you are over 65 years old, if you did not leave this world before the age of 64 like 92 other people will, this knowledge this should help you be content & grateful. It tells us to cherish life, grasp the moment, for you are immensely blessed amongst mankind.

It often helps to look at our life from a relative perspective compared to what other people have and endure. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t all work to build the best life we can, but we also should take time to appreciate what we have.

A Profound and Particular Connection

June 12, 2015 by  
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My wife and I recently visited the home of the famous painter Rembrandt, here in Amsterdam. Rembrandt was quite an astute businessman as well as a gifted artist. Unfortunately he wasn’t home when we stopped by—ha ha–but his beautiful artwork was everywhere and it was pretty darn impressive, I must say.

I also had a very short but interesting conversation with a friendly guard at the Rembrandt home.  It all started with a favorite comment of mine that I made as we parted ways. It really seemed to get to him but in a good way.  I said “Have a nice life!” And he enthusiastically said “Wow. Thanks a lot. I think I will plan on doing just that”.  That started the short conversation. But my next comment seemed to really hit a nerve, again, in a good way as he went on to say he’d never thought of the life of human beings in the way I said it.

What I said was simply that I think that all of us humans, even though we are from different countries, cultures, religions and speak different languages, we are all so very much the same. We all share at least one thing in common that should bring us even closer together as humans, especially in today’s world with the killing of so many innocent people in the name of “belief” or different world views.  He wanted to know what that ‘one thing’ was that we all share no matter who we are, what we believe or where we live.

What I said was, “No matter who you are, whether you are rich or poor, educated or not, as powerful as king or a president or as helpless as a new born child, we all are going to die.”  I know that is obvious but it’s something we should think about more often when we are feeling high and mighty or are judging other people and what they are doing with their lives.  The fact is that not one person out of the 7 billion people on the earth right now will be here in another 120 years or so. We all are in the same boat so why not make that the best possible boat in the universe and treat others as our brothers and sisters with great love and respect?

As we walked away from this very kind and interesting Dutch man, I think both he and I thought, “I think I have a new friend”.