As a millennial, I love to travel. And I believe that my fascination with exposing myself to other cultures and geographical landscapes directly stems from my upbringing. Because as any American high school student or college-goer would relate, we get this lesson drilled into our minds from an early age. Perhaps this has something to do with the wide-ranging social liberalization of educational institutions in our country. The 80s and the 90s (and particularly the Clinton years) saw this trend emerge forcefully, and I strongly believe that this was all for the better.
As human beings, we need to interact with our fellow beings. No one can live in a vacuum for long; nor should we have to. And wherever the need for forming social connections comes into the picture, nothing much beats traveling. In my opinion, the best way to facilitate this habit is to keep a handy internet subscription always at hand. Personally, I take care to book all my international trips a few months in advance through my Frontier Online Deals connection. And truth-be-told, this strategy hasn’t failed me – like ever!
Millennials Believe In – and Strive for – an Interconnected World
Millennials, more so than their counterparts from preceding generations, strongly believe in the ideal of a more intimately connected world. The dream for establishing a ‘One World Order’, they like to call it. And this much is clearly evident from their pop-cultural representation. See any new-age music video, movie or TV series, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Sometimes, and I’ve been told this by my parents and grandparents, they seem to converse in a language entirely of their own making. A ‘language’ that contains many hidden and nuanced meanings, and preaches a rebellion against many fundamental concepts. Ideas like patriotism, nationalism, religion and tradition; to name a few. Travelling, as they see it (and I’m in a good position to tell), is one of the most prominent ways of orchestrating this rebellion. And of interacting with people from across national borders – who are quick to make sense of facial expressions, tone of voice, and other bodily cues.
Millennials Get to Exercise their Innate Sense of Empathy through Travel
One of the greatest (and in many ways, most positive) truths pertaining to the millennial generation pertains to their capacity for achieving a very comfortable engagement-level with foreigners. ‘Foreigners’ in the sense of being alien to their own traditions and customs. They have a way of making people from other cultures more ‘easy’ with – and in – their presence. I have found this to be true on all of my travels abroad; to the great chagrin of my parents. Even in the most remote corners of the African highlands, I found that it was easier for me to relate with the natives than it was for some of the ‘elders’ in our company. Perhaps this has something to do with a willingness (on my, and my age-group peers’, part) to empathize more strongly with other people that eventually does the trick.
Let Me Recount a Particular Incident (to Explain Myself Further…)
Once, I encountered a Sri Lankan villager who beheaded a calf in my presence. The Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers in our traveling caravan became absolutely horrified by what they saw. But even though I was internally revolted by the spectacle, I didn’t let it show too obviously on my face. And from what I could sense for an entire hour following the incident, the villager in question greatly appreciated my exhibition of candor. So much so that he offered me the very eyes of the slaughtered beast to keep as a souvenir – which was akin to bestowing a great honor on an individual in this particular culture. And as you’d expect, I was more than happy (albeit being extremely disgusted) to act the part of the gratified guest.
Not surprisingly, and like many millennials that I know, I’ve had a similar experience in many Arabian countries. In these locations, the hosts (as a token of their extreme hospitality and respect) actually expect you to munch on a pair of cooked goat or camel eyes. In such situations, I’ve learned that that downing animal organ parts with any locally offered tea or alcoholic beverage is a good way to keep your new-found cross-cultural acquaintances happy.
Millennials Love a Little Bit of Thrill
In addition to their strong interest in forming cross-border connections, the other reason why millennials like to travel so much has much to do with their more thrill-seeking temperament. They recognize that certain facilities in the modern world are the same pretty much everywhere. Especially in those locations which fall under the developed world. I’m talking about hospitals, motels, departmental stores, and internet hotspots. And whether they’re off scuba diving,