Have you seen the new Expedia television commercial that’s set on the Trans-Siberian Railway? It features an exotic old man speaking to a young American girl about the key to life.
The Key To Life
The commercial ends with a simple “it’s you.”
The key to life is you says the American now pictured as an old woman speaking to an exotic looking young man asking the same question she asked years earlier.
Life is what you make of it. “The key to life is you.” It’s a very powerful message.
This Expedia commercial came to mind the other day, when I encountered a guy in conversation who started spewing all this really negative stuff about people, politics and the world. Politically, I’m probably the last centrist in the country and find the whole extreme left and extreme right thing distasteful.
So I just let him finish and then asked him a simple question: “Have you ever traveled?” He looked at me in astonishment and said: “a little for business.” I told him “You need to travel.” I went on to tell him “I’ve traveled many times to (the particular country he was demeaning) and that’s not what I experienced and that to have such a strong opinion he should travel there to see for himself.” Ouch! Needless to say the poor bastard wasn’t very happy with me. His narrow mind just wanted to believe what he heard from the “paid-shills” on media.
You Need to Travel
The famous economist, John Maynard Keynes was reported to have said the following when chided for changing his mind: “When the information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?”
Do you think this may be because the travel experiences and situations they encountered had altered their thinking and opinions? Just Saying.
First let’s make the distinction between traveling and traveled. According to CNN there were over 1.2 billion tourists in 2015. That’s a lot of people, but how many actually took the time to get to know the locals? In our fast-paced, rush society, my guess is most people are so focused on their to-do list or to-see list they cannot see the people through the monuments and buildings?
I owned a travel agency in Silicon Valley and would regularly see accounts call in reservations for their executives to travel to Asia or Europe for the day. No hotel accommodations. Fly to Tokyo or London, attend a meeting and fly home on the next flight out. Ok, I guess. To me it’s just insanity to think that’s a good thing! I say take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the people, the society and current trends to help you make better business decisions.
“Travel allows us to experience other ways of doing and thinking even if we have opposing views. However, if we respect each other’s right to an opinion we allow ourselves to see life through different realities which may not be our own and in the process we can become something better.”
In my humble opinion, if we traveled more to other lands and truly got to know the people and allowed them to get to know us, things might be better. However, while this sounds nice, we also cannot under-estimate the effect of narrow minds.
A big SHOUT OUT to Expedia marketing for creating this commercial — #WellDone