Someone sent me the transcript from a commencement speech. The title and beginning featured a slightly shocking pattern interrupt. In other words, they caught me by surprise. I found myself so intrigued I read further, and eventually realized that, unlike 99% of everything else I ever receive, I could not stop reading this. I have included it below in its entirety for your enjoyment and pondering.
In terms of travel the essay is a good reminder to not skip through places just to say, "I've been there," but to really take to heart what we're seeing. It's too easy to start counting countries, ticking them off, and not actually see anything. Instead, savor each place, each city, each moment wherever you are, whether it's abroad or in your hometown. And while you're at it, make a difference to the people you meet along the way. Represent your country, your values, your beliefs and teach, share, and learn. The moments I remember are almost always moments that I connected with someone or learned something meaningful about the people or culture I am visiting as a guest. Those moments don't happen automatically, though. They require some effort and some desire on the traveler's part.