We just spent the last 2 weeks of July and the 1st week in August traveling in England, Ireland and France. In my experience, foreign travel is always and inevitably a learning experience. From country there are differences in the history, the religion, the culture and the politics. And these four areas always seem to influence each other. So learning about “CHIRP” would be the acronym for learning how Culture and History interact with Religion and Politics.
We were on an organized tour for about half of our trip. The other half we were either wandering on our own or with day tours. We were mostly in the south – London and the south of England, the south of Ireland, and the South of France plus a few days in Paris. Organized tour guides almost always talk about history, religion, and politics. Culture is something one experiences whether on a tour or not. Tourist sites are sometimes tourist sites for the sights, but most are tourist sites because they have some historic religious, or political significance. In most western European countries, many historical sites have been preserved. There is probably both good news and bad news with this. It’s good for tourism, and it’s helpful to have knowledge of history because it can teach us much. The bad news might be that there are times when – for the sake of relationships – we need to forget the past and move on. In some of these countries it’s apparently tough to do that. Our culture is heavily influenced by our history with religion and politics, and culture in turn can influence our outlook on current religion and political activity.
But can be educational, and helpful I believe, to see how other countries and cultures have grown and evolved. They are different from ours, so they present useful alternatives for things to do – or things to avoid. But in any event, if we see how others have developed it can help us better understand how we got to where we are. It is also interesting to read foreign newspapers and foreign news casts to see how they report, analyze and evaluate U. S. events.
Because we have been traveling, it’s been awhile since my last post. But I now have a lot of thoughts that I might share on CHIRP and also some on the beautiful scenery, good food and other stuff. But first I need to get over jet lag and get my thoughts organized a little.