I have friends who lived in Namie, a small town that suffered several disasters in a row in 2011. First, there was the Tōhoku Earthquake, then there was the tsunami which ravaged coastal towns across the eastern seaboard of Japan. Finally, there was a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which employed many people in the community. The subsequent ill-managed evacuation of the town and the surrounding area killed more people (2,000) than those killed by the radiation release (none).
Above is a photo from Ukedo Elementary school. The clock marks the exact time the tsunami hit the school. The school is a mere 200 meters from the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately, the teachers and children evacuated in time to a nearby road where they were picked up by a truck passing through. None of the children died
Sometimes travel is about remembrance. I travel to understand people, the culture, the history and to pay my respects to the brave people who find the power in themselves to pick themselves up when all the chips are down.
As a strategic consultant, I manage chaos for a living. So travel is easy for me. Heh. I travel to understand people and culture more deeply than a newspaper or tv show could ever tell me. I break bread to build bridges across political and social boundaries. Travel inspires me, teaches me and humbles me such that I appreciate my part of the world more deeply.