Posted in Travel Writing

Is Travel a Political Act? I Absolutely Think So.

Sonja Lind is a friend and global programs coordinator at Schreiner University which includes preparing study abroad students. She understands how important it is to travel intentionally, taking the time, effort and discomfort of encountering a country beyond just a visit of the sites and moving on to the next country. Her post is a lengthy read and worthwhile for seeing how travel can serve as a political act, as Rick Steves suggests in his book, Travel as a Political Act.

Sonja Lind

eritreaImage: Parcel2go.com

It was early autumn, and the locals told me that I had arrived just before the seasons shifted and the rains arrived. I wouldn’t have known it. Taking a swim didn’t help either. At an uncomfortable 30°C (86°F), the salty Red Sea provided no relief from the 35°C (95°F) breeze. Air conditioning was rare. I lethargically waited under the ceiling fan for the sun to set. Why had I decided to visit Eritrea?

Months earlier, while planning a six-month round-the-world trip, my friend and I looked at a map of Asia and Africa, and compromised. Both of us wanted to go to Ghana and India. But we had bought the limited-mileage ticket, and visiting both countries meant we wouldn’t be able to visit Europe. We compromised: if we were going to India, we could also go to an African country, but only if it was in the north…

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Author:

Writer, published author, traveler, blogger, workshop facilitator, spiritual sojourner. Authored coming-of-age travel memoir, At Home in the World: Travel Stories of Growing Up and Growing Away. This story covers my travels at a young age as a result of my involvement with my local church. My relationship with my mother prepares me for my ventures into the world. But I disappoint both family and church by leaving the church. Working on novel about a young woman who travels to India in 1906 to sell her uncle's horses. She loses her brother in route, builds a friendship in India that solidifies her sense of self that she has questioned all her life, and finds a man on board ship who loves her just the way she is but struggles to commit. I live in Texas with the love of my life, husband Lynn, and our Shih Tzu, Murphy, who is more cat than dog.

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