Someone asked me one time why I seem irritated when I hear the question “where are you from”? Honestly, the main reason is that I hear this specific question several times every day. People are always intrigued by my accent and the fact that I know so much about other countries. The truth is, it is unfair to those people for me to get upset because there is no way for them to know that several other people already asked me the same thing. When I do answer, I usually refer to myself as a Citizen of the World.
Growing up, my family was constantly on the move from one city to another and from one country to the next. This experience was fun for the curious child that I was. Being around people from different cultures, different races and languages is very enriching. One could spend their entire life reading and studying a country or culture but until you actually experience living among the inhabitants of those places, your studies will never be complete. I often hear people saying that America is the greatest country to ever exist. I also read reports and statistics placing Scandinavian countries in the top ten listing of happiest places on earth. The Gulf Emirates are classified as having the wealthiest people. What standards are used to come up with this statistics and classifications? In my view, the happiest place is where I am at a specific moment in time. If tomorrow I find myself herding cattle with the Massai tribes of Kenya, then in my opinion that savanna will surely be the happiest place on earth at that moment. What’s the point of living in the greatest country ever if you are not happy? I believe that if we all decide to adopt a “citizen of the world” mentality, we would learn from each other without losing our own identity. Wouldn’t it be great to live in the greatest, happiest, wealthiest, healthiest, friendliest, greenest, cleanest, safest country? This is not utopia. It could be possible if we look at the earth as one giant country; no borders and no laws that separate people. In the age of the internet and globalization, humans have become physically and mentally closer to each other than ever before. I believe that parents should encourage their children to be curious and to seek knowledge outside of their comfort zone. “Travel the world and the seven seas, […] look for something” as the 1980’s Eurhythmics song “sweet dreams” loudly shouts out. I have always said that I learned a lot through the school system; however my life experiences have deeply shaped the person that I