Is this the
terrifying scream of evil spirits inside your house. Nope, this is the call to action from the folks at Lonely Planet, who want nothing more
than for you to leave the country. You see, they are suggesting a really wonderful idea. By getting away, they suggest,
you do your own country some good. Not because we didn’t really want you here in the first place, but because when you
go abroad, you act as an ambassador of goodwill…assuming you’re not some loud, drunk, arrogant, hat-turned-backwards
frat-boy…in that case, we suggest you not only stay home, but go somewhere with all your friends and bang drums by
yourselves in the wilderness. Anyway, the LP points out (rightly) that American travelers can serve as "agents of
understanding, tolerance and mutual respect " as they travel out into the world and interact with people in other
nations. But they also say that just 23% of Americans have passports. Could that be true? My, that’s a low number.
Well I for one couldn’t agree more that travel helps you and helps others know you. Nothing will make this
world a more lovely place than greater mutual understanding. It’s much harder to hate someone you know than it is to
make up a blanket statement about them and channel all your personal fears and hang-ups into a self-created image…if
you don’t mind me getting psychological on your a$$es for a moment.
Anyway, take the LP advice. If you don’t
have a passport now, go get one. You’ll be doing all of us a favor.