Travel, for all its potential to broaden one’s point of view, can encourage primal fears that we desperately try to rationalize away. Incomprehensible tongues fall upon our ears, and we assume that we must be on the outside of a very inside joke. When faced with the unfamiliar, our well-intentioned but bumbling genetic structure offers up a generous serving of mistrust, fear, and doubt.
This very biology that for millennia has exploited our basal fears to promote survival becomes, however, something of a burden when the most serious challenge to one’s personal endurance is determining which of fourteen possible entrées might best complement a Cabernet. Becoming an engaged, mature adult, therefore, requires that one learn to disarm instinct and look beyond differences and unfamiliarity. This ability to trust marks the most enlightened of persons.
Or the most basic of dogs.