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Citizenship

You'll want to backpack throughout Southeast Asia after watching this film

The familiar lets you slip into autopilot mode, days consisting of moments easily traversed, routines sinking into mental grooves. The unfamilar jolts you into awareness, time brightly unfurling as you attend to new sights, smells, environments, experiences. 

This is the essence of travel--seeking out new spaces to explore the world and your self.

As you encounter a new culture, you can choose to either hold it at a distance and treat it as a spectacle, something that will never affect you. Or you can choose to embrace what you find, letting new experiences break open your preconceptions and reshape your outlook. 

Global citizenship is always about the latter. It's also about appreciating the vastness and complexity of life, recognizing that every person has a unique perspective and that there is always more to learn from life. Travel does not have to mean hopping on a 12-hour flight to a place where a different language is spoken. It can mean taking a different bus route. Walking along a new path. Starting a new hobby. 

But the most transformative travel experiences generally take place far from home. 

Michael Reiner, based in San Francisco, recently backpacked for several months throughout Southeast Asia. It was an exhausting experience, but one that taught him so much. 

As he wrote, "If you ever get the chance, book a flight somewhere and don’t plan too much. Then take the slowest form of transport to get around. It will be nauseating at times, but whatever window you’re looking out from is a window into a world you’d never otherwise see. It’s the best kind of motion picture there is. I took the slow route through Southeast Asia and filmed and edited this short film on my iPhone."