To date, I feel lucky to have visited 14 countries on five continents: United States (home), Canada, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, France, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Each have touched me in a unique way. And yet I’ve only scratched the surface—just 6% of the world’s 195 countries.
Furthermore, the above map is grossly skewed. I’ve only visited two thirds of America instead of the whole she-bang (and much of that was only sections of larger states). I’ve yet to visit mainland Mexico or Canada—just Cozumel and Newfoundland (what a place!). I’ve never visited massive Asia, Eastern Europe, and 90% of the rest of Africa. And I’ve visited just one giant state (New South Wales) of the USA-sized Australia.
Granted, I have no intention of visiting every country or plot of land. It doesn’t take that many to realize we’re all the same and that we live on the most beautiful rock in the observable universe. Plus, I still have a lot I want to do in my own backyard, not to mention repeat trips abroad (i.e. New Zealand take two).
But I do hope to visit all seven continents someday, if not next year. Not only does distance makes the heart grow fonder, but a change in geography is good at keeping us on our toes.
Love you, Earth.
PS—Airplanes are amazing and travel is overrated for the following reasons.
I recently finished Highbrow’s excellent 10-day course on inventions that changed the world.
In keeping score, half of the cited inventions quickened the sharing of information (writing, printing press, telephone, personal computer, internet). A third hastened our transportation (steam engine, automobile, airplanes). One marginalizes or maximizes physical dominance, depending on who owns more of it (gunpowder). And the last one lengthens our days (light bulb).
Interestingly, every one of these inventions involve some element of speed. The speed of a bullet. The speed of light. The speed of travel. The speed of knowledge. That’s why the world moves at an increasing rate. Our greatest inventions all involve speed.
Even this century’s greatest inventions largely involve speed. How fast you can get new or old music to your ears (iTunes, Spotify). How fast you can get answers to questions (Google). How fast you can connect with friends and family (Facebook, SMS). And how fast you can see the latest cat videos (YouTube).
Of course, many of these inventions involve size, frequency, and power. But when it comes to bigger, stronger, better, and faster—always bet on faster. It’s the future. And it’s likely what the “next big thing” will do more than others.