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News Link • General Opinion

Leave home. Grow up.


Arrested development is easy enough to recognize when it takes the form of a 40-year old blogger trolling the Internet from the comfort of his mom's basement. In the age of jet fuel, cheap travel and global interconnectivity, what might we say of one who has never left his accidental suburb of birth? What's holding him back? What valuable life lessons await our tragically incurious subject?

Let's go through a few of the basic developmental phases that every International Man experiences, one step at a time…

Learn How to Walk

A spate of news stories in recent years tells of British holidaymakers tumbling off terraces in inordinate numbers whenever they venture abroad. In a three-month spell just last year, no fewer than 11 Brits fell to serious injury or death. One possible explanation (aside from general drunkenness) is that, in the U.K., there are very strict building codes that dictate the mandatory height of balcony handrails. Yet, many popular holiday destinations either have no such laws, or enforce them lackadaisically (if at all).

Having seldom been invited to consider such a basic question as "what would happen if I fell from this height?" the average Brit Abroad is thus at a distinct evolutionary disadvantage. He never met a balustrade he didn't trust or a banister he didn't fancy a lean against. Without government codes to coax, corral and cajole him, he is lost, unable even to stand on his own two feet without considerable risk to life and limb. He has been conditioned not to think for himself.

Alas, life is full of risk… and not (nearly) all of it can be mitigated with bylaws and council edicts. It helps, therefore, to foster a healthy sense of awareness of one's surroundings. Fortunately, travel is here to help.

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