Podcast Takeaway: An International Perspective, Episode 14

My time with Tiffany Thomas: International Journalism Episode

Last Friday I had the opportunity to share the microphone with Tiffany S. Thomas, a freelance reporter who recently returned from her trip to the Middle East and South Africa. I was particularly excited for our episode because of the impending discussion on how her life was impacted by her travels. As with my podcast with Ross Medico and Erich Dvorak, the focus was going to be on the guest’s perspective after her time abroad.

My love for the potential impact of international travel on one's perspective can be attributed to my birth and early childhood rearing in the little-known South American country of Guyana. Immigrating to the United States opened my eyes to another way of living that didn’t seem possible unless depicted by the television screen. Whatever possibilities and ways of thought I had previously understood the world to have offered was changed completely. Because of this I was looking forward to sitting down with Thomas, who was born in Jamaica.

My appreciation for how my life changed with my family’s move isn’t an indictment on the ways of life that conflict systems like capitalism, the free markets, democracy, etc. It’s an ode to my appreciation of the many ways of thinking, of living, and the fact that harmony can exist in any society.

Sitting there speaking with Tiffany, as it was speaking with Ross and Erich, I couldn’t help but recall my own experiences traveling and the subsequent changes that happened in my life thereafter. None of theses were tangible. Rather it was the affect that my exposure to each culture had on my life afterward. Moving from what most would categorize as a third-world nation to the greatest country on earth broadened my horizon of the possibilities the world had to offer. Spending two summers in China showed me that happiness is a state of mind that has no price tag, nor salary. My three months in Puerto Rico taught me that hard work should go hand-in-hand with a dedication to family, friends, and having a damn good time.

There isn’t any one superior way of living. One set of values don’t trump the other. Your bank account doesn’t matter. The common denominator is the love you have in your life - the appreciation for who you are and for the people around you. I’m not yet “well-traveled” but I’ve learned a thing or two from the places I’ve been.