Yesterday I had pizza with a girl who grew up in a village where soldiers kidnapping children for ransom and women for wives is still a frequent occurrence.
I really never thought I would say that.
Because I don’t think I really believed that it still happens. Not now. Not when I can watch the Gilmore Girls on my phone and order a book from Amazon and have it delivered to my home in two hours or less. Not when a woman or a black man can run for president in America.
Not when I am so safe by comparison. Her reality is too far from my own for me to believe it without hearing her, meeting her, looking in her eyes.
So far on my trip to Tbilisi, I have learned some fascinating things, met wonderful, kind people, and seen beautiful mountains, buildings, and seas.
But I have also been strongly reminded of how much I do not know, and how much I take for granted.
And so here is my reminder, from my room in Tbilisi to my American friends.
If you can, travel. Ask questions. Learn about other cultures.
If you cannot travel, learn any way you can. Even if you never meet someone from another country, it will change the way you see your own life, and the lives around you.
And if, someday, you find yourself in Tbilisi without a corkscrew…I wish you good luck.