Mark Twain ~ “We wanted something foreign!”

August 18th, 2017 by Nicholas Comninellis

 

I am fascinated with cultures. For one, they represent enormous richness of human experience. Tasting a variety of cultures also creates light and insight into our own personal cultures that we could never appreciate unless we step outside of them.

 

With a right attitude, cross-cultural immersion can create some of the most enlightening, invigorating experiences imaginable. Mark Twain exemplified this sentiment when he wrote upon arriving in Morocco: “We wanted something thoroughly and uncompromisingly foreign – foreign from top to bottom – foreign from center to circumference – foreign inside and out and all around – nothing anywhere about it to dilute its foreignness – nothing to remind us of any other people and any other land under the sun. And lo! In Tangiers we have found it.”

 

One beautiful characteristic of culture is that we don’t necessarily need a passport to enjoy it. A free day and some means of travel can inevitably transport us into the presence of people with whom interacting can dramatically increase our experience of the richness of life.