Monday, May 27

Just for a moment, stare at the picture of the earth on this page.  You and I are neighbors.  I can see your house from here.

We think of the earth as incredibly large and very small, as the most solid entity we can imagine and the most fragile. To the best of our knowledge, it is the only place in the entire universe where ice cream can be found.

Or frogs for that matter.

During the history of the human race, we have been pilgrims, wayfarers, explorers and pioneers.  Our feet and minds have carried us far. We migrated out of Africa and spread across the planet in search of food, fortune and, sometimes, just the horizon.  But we did so in a thinly populated world with what seemed to be limitless resources.

We are fast approaching 7.5 billion humans on the planet.  Getting along with the earth, and with each other, will be increasingly important.

Some would argue that travel wastes resources like vast amounts of fuel, is a privilege of the wealthy and exploits indigenous people and ecosystems.  At times, travel and tourism does all of these things and perhaps even worse than we realize.

But travel also expands our understanding of other people and cultures.  Travel reminds us of how alike we are. Travel reminds us of the fragility of the planet and seldom do we travel that we return unchanged.

So here’s our hope.  Actually, it’s our mission.  Travelhoppers seeks to inspire a community of travelers that respects the road, respects the people we visit, and those with whom we travel.

It’s not really THAT big a goal.  But it’s ours.  Please feel free to join us.

Richard B. Earls