If You Can’t Travel The World, Travel Your Neighborhood

Anthony Bourdain died by suicide recently. He has been hailed all over the world by many different people. He brought the far corners of the world to our living rooms.

You may aspire to travel like him. Some, like Mark Twain, have even argued that travel is perhaps the only way to dissolve bigotry and ignorance.

I’m poor and disabled. It’s unlikely I’ll ever travel the world. Yet, I have rich experiences just in my own neighborhood. Your mileage may vary, of course. It all depends on your neighborhood. Some are higher economic class; some are mostly white. Even so, there’s probably diversity right outside your door.

For example, I’m poor, white, disabled and queer. I currently live in a communal way with my family. My next door neighbors on one side are a Vietnamese family. The parents are perhaps in their 40’s or 50′. And the kids go to high school, I believe. We have had a cultural exchange of food with these neighbors.

On the other side of my house is two white sisters. They are in their 70’s and 80’s. One is gay and one is straight. The straight one has a transgender granddaughter. We have also had food exchanges with these neighbors.

Both neighbors are great. But you can see the diversity here just outside my door.

American, for as much as I dislike some of the current political dialogue, is a diverse place. There’s people with disabilities, older people, younger people, brown people, white people, queer people, straight people.

Peek outside your door. See who’s there. Exchange some food. Build those bonds. Break down those walls. And, while your at it, think of Anthony Bourdain.