6 Continents, 36 Countries, 14 Years

There are many online arguments about the the long-term impact of travel on children and the value of investing in travel as a family when kids are young. My son, Devon O’Shaughnessy, is a freshman in high school and has traveled the world with me as I’ve grown Ciao Bambino over the past 14 years. Does he remember every trip? No. Has he appreciated all the different experiences at different ages and stages? Most of the time. The greatest gift of his travels is evident in how our journeys together have shaped the way he sees the world. What follows is a poem Devon recently wrote inspired by his travels. 

Devon O'Shaughnessy travel photo montage

Paris photo by Flytographer. All other photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy

6 continents, 36 countries, 14 years

Seen people thrive in the most affluent places, but also in the most desperate

Seen prosperity born from blessings, but also from curses

All the diversity in the world and only one consistent trait among those with opportunity

Community

From the ever-advancing cities of China to the rudimentary tribes in Kenya

From the booming technological businesses of San Francisco to the struggling, desperate people of Cambodia

Collaboration

From those liberated by democracy, to those oppressed by dictators in unjust conditions

From those whose lives appear to be a constant vacation, to those whose days are plagued by starvation

The converse is also true, a nation with collaboration can only function if citizens have individual gifts and differentiations

Diversity isn’t present in a community, it is community

The relentless drive of man to ameliorate the fate of their people

The unyielding effort of man to collaborate and annihilate the agony and struggle of their people

The ultimate sacrifice

From warriors in the Masai who fight off savage lions with wooden spears, to soldiers who fight selflessly for the U.S army 

From the struggling citizens of Laos who give fresh food to the otherwise uneducated and starving monks, to those … everywhere

**

In every family, blood or not, we all sacrifice out of love with all we can muster and all we have

Only when we find this truth do we realize how obscured and utterly lost we were before

The overwhelming majority of people are unaware of these marvelous and stunning facets of human nature

Travel changes lives

Travel is the way to understand the raw essence and innate beauty of man

2 Comments

  1. Absolutely introspective. A mind so finely tuned belongs to a young man who was nurtured by, not only such enormous and various experiences in his 14 years, but by the gentle and firm guidance by two principled , intelligent, and devoted parents. Devon’s words, his prose, his deep insights and emotional maturity, continue to amaze me. How I love this young man. He nourishes my soul. May he continue to be a writer of integrity and thoughtful perspectives as he follows his paths.

  2. Beautiful and thoughtfully written Devon. You have an unusually keen understanding of life and the human condition.
    Love,
    Uncle Jon

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