Something I constantly try to remind myself is that I don’t need to travel outside of the United States to see beauty, diversity, and culture. The United States is not only incredibly geographically diverse, but also culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse, thanks to being a country built by immigrants. I was reminded of this as we traveled through 3 different United States airports on the way to Barcelona. On the flight from DFW to JFK, I heard at least 4 different languages. During our layover in JFK, I was able to catch a glimpse of NYC’s great ethnic bouquet (someday I’ll get to explore it by foot, taxi, and subway); the airport employees had skin of all shades and tones and many of them had thick accents and spoke English as their second language. Even then, the slang and dialect of the “native” New Yorkers was completely different than that of native Arkansans.
Language and skin aside, I witnessed a beautiful display of culture with individuals’ choice of attire. Fellow travelers walked by clothed in all varieties of fashion; there were women in saris, business professionals, tourists in shorts and t-shirts, Africans in djellabas, grungy backpackers in Patagonia/North Face apparel, and Arabs in hijabs. I loved being able to witness such a range of cultures through the clothing of those in the airport. It was overwhelming, but it was a work of art. I sometimes forget the humanity is so colorful.
Stayed tuned to read about our flight to Barcelona!