In the midst of all the clouds that covered the earth last week, we lost Leonard Cohen. One of his songs, The Partisan, got me thinking …the frontiers are my prison… about the value of standing for your ideas, about the fear of persecution, about the courage that it takes to stay true to yourself.
I live in the UK where the notion of tolerance and open borders has been brought upside down. I am deeply attached to the US where walls – and so much more – have become an everyday threat. I come from France where a culture of fear now prevails. And what about the country of my husband, Turkey, where freedom of speech has turned into a thing of the past. Writing for a family travel blog seems mundane under the circumstances …
Yet it feels more important than ever to venture out, to discover the unknown, to see things for ourselves, to explain to our children why diversity is a celebration and not a curse. Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. We might not all eat the same food, speak the same languages but all over, children crave to learn, mothers crave to love. We are one.
So rather than letting our children get influenced by the fear of uncertainty, now is the time to buy train tickets and travel around, cross borders, from hyper modern cities to lush valleys, witnessing desolate industrial zones on the way. Now is the time to go North to South, East to West on long road trips, unplanned, welcoming the unknown. And if we can’t travel right away, if budget does not allow it, well, at least, let’s excite our tastebuds with food that makes us travel, rice balls for breakfast! tacos for lunch! curry for dinner! Let’s play music that makes us travel. African drums playing in the car during the school drive! Let’s read folk tales at bedtime that make us travel. There is a million way to open borders, to embrace diversity, to be citizens of the world. Let’s not allow frontiers to become the prisons of our minds.