There’s Anna Martin’s blog on her  time in Sri Lanka on Facebook.

She and I were one of many guests at our friends’ wedding there.After the Wedding

I click on it, read it and share it  commenting, “Great blog. I learnt much from it.”

I thought I wouldn’t get away with that lightly. Then Anna  asked me, “Share what you learnt.”
It just tumbled out like this..

“I always wondered why people are racist (I don’t think I am racist), but I saw that for me it’s just fear of the unknown. Wherever we are we still need to communicate and connect and share the same needs and desires. We’re all different and that’s a richness we all can share in. I’ve never been in such a different culture and environment and I was fearful (at first), but all I had to do was listen and be mindful (still need to do more of that)! Now I have to take that and apply it daily.”

So what I really learnt was  this. When I’m afraid of being in a new environment and culture, my natural reaction is to treat people as stereotypes.  It would have then been easy to play the tourist but in truth I’m a guest in their country. Much like my conversationalist in the Introverted Tourist.