Travel writer Lavinia Spalding is committed to “breaking down cultural borders and helping create a more tolerant, connected, loving world.” She believes that storytelling, particularly travel-writing, is an essential tool in that process.
She begins her thoughtful lecture with an exercise. The members of the audience are asked to choose a stranger near them, to remember that person’s face, and to rate their connection with that person. She then tells two stories about two different people in Russia and France. Each vignette contains detailed character studies, which helps the audience members re-evaluate the exercise.
Storytelling, we find, enables people to care about those one has never met, or will meet. Indeed, stories are the way we connect to one another and make ourselves care – they reveal our common humanity. And when we use travel in the service of storytelling, we can begin to make a real difference.
Lavinia challenges us to think about how we can change the world, especially during our travels. She suggests many different options but urges everyone to bring a journal and write about the people we observe. In this way, we can defy the disconnectedness that plagues the modern world and see it instead as “one big family.”
“Travel writers,” she says, “are obligated to meet people, to ask questions, to pay attention. And with that comes a heightened sense of awareness, a heightened sense of observation. And some great rewards.”
Lavinia Spalding, we wish to thank you for sharing with us at the Hobo Community.
We can read and learn more about her at: LaviniaSpalding.com.
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Wow. Lavinia Spalding really captivated my interest. I had never thought about travel and people in that way. Thanks so much for sharing that presentation. It really made me think.
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