When you’re white, French and tall, people will like you anywhere. On one side of the World (Europe, Australia, North America), you will be OK because you look like everyone else and you come from a developed country. So be cool and you’ll make friends. On the other side of the World (Asia, South America from what I know and I heard the same things about Africa so…) you’ll be so different and interesting in most cases. People will stop in the street to talk to you, they will help you as much as they can, and they will receive you with kindness and generosity. They will be pleased to see this white guy coming from a rich country traveling their own country. It will be such a honor to be able to share their culture to you and receive a bit from yourself. Trust me about it… I’ve been there…
Now, let’s take the other way around. You are Indian, an African guy or a Latino and you go in a developed country… Do you think the same things will happen to you going there? In some cases, it will but generally speaking, it won’t. Just take a look at Visa process for example… It is easy to get a Visa for a French to visit most countries in South America and Asia as far as I know… Do you think it is as easy for them to get a Visa to go to Europe? Not really… This is just an example… What about the people? Will they receive you as a friend with honors? Some will… But most will not… because they are afraid! Trust me again, I come from there…
My Turkish friends
It looks like a one way relationship here… When I see those people receiving me as one of them, giving me all the generosity they can give, I feel lucky and sometimes uncomfortable because I know it will be unlikely to be the same for them if they go to my country… However, if they come to my place, they will be received in the same way, that’s for sure!
So, maybe traveling is one of the key to make the World a better place… To build bridge between each other, to tear prejudices down and just to live together… Maybe we would find solutions to the huge migration wave Europe is facing, think about it.
My Iranian friends
Don’t let stereotypes and Medias fuck your brain up! Get out and see by yourself! Fear is not good, go over it! Or you’ll just end up sitting in your comfort zone, changing nothing, getting your money, buying your TV, watching it, feeling unsafe because of watching it, building stereotypes and grudges about people and countries you never met and never saw and ending up voting for people with bullshit populism ideas (Trump, Le Pen…). And this is just repeating like a vicious circle… Trust me, I’m seeing the World and meeting these people who rich countries fear… There is nothing to be afraid of… It is just different!
My Indian friends
I visited about 23 countries so far in North and South America, Europe and Asia. I still have A LOT to see… At the end of this travel, I should reach 35 countries. At the end of my life, I hope to reach as many as possible… Because I believe it is the best way to learn… Just learn… But after learning, you must take actions and try to make some changes!