I've always believed that most of the world's problems could be solved and all of our personal prejudices eliminated if people just travelled more.
There's nothing like being in unknown places among people with whom you share little in common to realize -- despite different beliefs, aspirations and ways of doing things -- how similar our lives, and we, really are.
I've had the good fortune to visit much of the planet and to have had the additional benefit of getting to live and work for extended periods of time in places where I arrived not knowing the language or culture, let alone how to go about finding an apartment, figuring out the currency and buying groceries or ordering a meal.
More often than not, like Blanche DuBois, I initially survived through the kindness of strangers, strangers who quickly became neighbors and eventually lifelong friends.
Travel broadens your horizons, but it also cleanses the heart, blowing out the carbonized presumptions, media implanted misconceptions and everything else that prevents you from realizing people who may think and act differently from you are just people who think and act differently from you.
And that's not something you need to fly to another part of the world to experience. You can get it by walking into a part of town you normally wouldn't be caught dead in and starting to talk to the locals.
But from a filmmaker's POV, there's a lot more visual candy in taking the "around the world" approach.
Recently, STA Travel Australia commissioned Rick Mereki to do just that. Accompanied by DOP Tim White and actor Andrew Lees, Mereki spent 44 days travelling 38,000 miles through 11 different countries to capture all the things that make us completely different and at the same time incredibly similar.
The result is three utterly delightful one minute films covering the experiences all travel embeds in our memories, the beauty of the world, the things we can teach one another and the meals that brought us even closer together.
I guarantee that the smile you will have after the first film, will only get broader as you watch its companion pieces.
Move. Learn. Eat. And Enjoy your Sunday.
MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.
LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.
EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.