On Opining, Travel and Empathy

A few weeks ago, I read this opinion about opinion fatigue. Let me repeat that. I read an opinion about opinion fatigue.

Moving right along while that irony sinks in…

I did think the article was interesting, in part because (as you probably know if you occasionally read this blog) I write a lot of op-eds for other people. Earlier this month, though, I got to write one that was actually signed by me. I am an enthusiastic traveler, and my first opinion piece is about how traveling with kids can help them develop empathy–a topic that interests me because I’ve seen it on occasion in my own child and read anecdotes about it on other blogs.

Nothing bugs me more than “experts” making claims backed up only by their own experience, however, so I decided to do a little digging into it. It was a more time intensive project than I expected, because there is a remarkable dearth of research on how travel affects us.

Given how small our world has become, how much people travel these days, and travel’s importance as an industry, it seems an area worth studying and, over the past decade or so, there has been more research into the subject. Happily, much of what’s out there does support the idea that travel has the potential to make us more compassionate humans. You can read more about it here, in Giving City Austin, an awesome online magazine that promotes philanthropy and community in my town. Also, if you’re interested in more of my writing about family travel, please check out my travel blog, or my book, Paris When It Giggles. In my opinion, they’re both worth reading.