This morning I had a knock at the door and it was the postman. He returned my documentation and passport, but almost as importantly my passport contained the visas for Russia and China!
I can now travel to my first destination of St Petersburg on the 10th of July. The plan is coming together, then I can get on the train to Moscow where I will board the Trans-Siberian Express stopping in Mongolia, which does not require a visa for British Citizens, before continuing on to Beijing. How exciting, and a little scary!
As a UK citizen I can travel to so many places in the world without a visa, more than most other countries can, However visas are funny things when you think about it. They create an extra divide between people as Pablo Casals’ quote so nicely demonstrates.
“The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? There is a brotherhood among all men. This must be recognized if life is to remain. We must learn the love of man.”
The news and propaganda changes our views and creates divides and separations which are not really needed. In the west we tend to believe that Russians are hard and cold. This is not true. Did you know by law that Russian drivers have to have dashboard cameras in their cars? As a result there are lots of examples of Random Acts of Kindness on You Tube caught on these devices, one of which can be seen below.
You see by focusing on the differences and not focusing on our similarities results in me needing a visa for both Russia and China. As I travel I look forward to seeing the cultural differences between each country. I equally look forward to seeing the similarities between the people I meet, which ever country I may be in. I believe if all countries had cameras on their dashboard we would see many more examples of kindness because we are all humans living on a planet with ever changing man made geo-political lines creating countries based on culture and historical events. What hasn’t changed though is peoples general traits which on the whole are very kind, caring and compassionate, I do realise everyone is not like this because every country in the World has a criminal justice system. I just believe that most people are good.
I would like to end this post with a really lovely meditation and thought process which highlights how all people are so similar:
- “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.”
- “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.”
- “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.”
- “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.”
- “Just like me, this person is learning about life.”
Source – zenhabits.net