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immersion

Travelling has immeasurable value for us; both for business and pleasure. I have learned so much over my life by visiting other places and only now truly appreciate how much I was absorbing about cultural diversity in the world. We take in so much when we visit places that don’t feel like home and, even if we are tired during the rushed itinerary, we can long savor the experience afterwards through our memories.

This recent trip taught me more about a daughter I had not spent this much time with since she was 10. Now an adult I could see how much she had matured and travelling with her was sheer pleasure. I have mellowed in my need to rush and I had so much fun watching her impressions of a first immersion in a continent she had never been to. She later admitted to me that it was life changing for her.

The world has never travelled as much as today and cities like Venice and Bruges are being threatened with crowds of tourists who aren't always respectful of the circumstances of the location they are visiting. In the case of Venice UNESCO stopped short of declaring it a no-visit zone due to the gravity of the situation there.

I remember as a 23-year-old first walking the streets of Paris and being fascinated with the architecture and the cafes. At 21 my daughter was much the same and she sat sketching people as we drank our café con leche in a quaint little square in the barrio de La Latina. She wasn't a coffee drinker before.

Since my last visit to Madrid 25 years ago I could see how things have changed with some people not being respectful of their surroundings. Public behavior has become cruder and the sheer numbers of visitors has put pressure on the resources of these cities to handle the traffic.


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