Travel Provides The Best Education
Traveling the world provides us with educational experiences that are quite simply impossible to gain from any other venue, classroom or university. Our senses absorb the sights, sounds, tastes and smells.
We touch and feel things we have never experienced before. We interact with people in ways that are new to us.
One of the first things we learn when we start to travel outside our own country is that the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily see things and do things the same way we were taught to do them.
The old saying “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” couldn’t be truer. Sometimes there are many, many ways.
As Americans we are used to driving our cars to the local supermarket to purchase pre-packaged and processed groceries for dinner. Even the fruit is not really “fresh” since it was picked, packaged and shipped several days before it arrives in our local grocery stores.
Often times chemicals are added to force produce to riped just in time for its arrival at the market. Die is added to meats and fish to make them look like they did when they were truly fresh.
Although Vietnam has it’s share of grocery stores, “super” markets are few and far between. The world turns at a slower pace there and the farmer’s relationship to the consumer is much closer than in the United States. Often times, the consumer knows the farmer and fisherman by name.
The food is sold right off the truck or boat, while it’s fresh enough that refrigeration and packaging isn’t essential.
Most Americans would be appalled at the idea of plucking their chicken before cutting it up for dinner, or cleaning the fish before frying it.
We pay extra for the privilege of purchasing food that has been “prepared” ahead of time and is instantly ready for cooking. Previously frozen, artificial color added, and processed are terms not heard in the markets of Vietnam.
We have all grown up being used to what we learned as children. By nature, we tend to resist things that are different from what we know.
If we open our minds and allow ourselves to see things from another point of view, we learn that there is a whole world of knowledge that we don’t know. The more we travel and the more we learn, the more we realize we don’t really know that much at all.
The markets of Vietnam were not only beautiful to photograph, but held a wealth of knowledge I have yet to gain.