JFK, the 35th U.S. president, understood travel. What are the five seeds of greatness for our sons and daughters? Read a timeline of a his travels.
U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) traveled the world before he became president. He understood the value of travel, and his travels surely contributed to his greatness.
We can follow his example to plant the same seeds of greatness in our own sons and daughters. A timeline of JFK’s travels reveals five travel recommendations to help a U.S. citizen empathize with people from outside the USA.
Travel Timeline of U.S. President John F. Kennedy
1935, September ,London, UK – first trip abroad with his parents and sister, Kathleen, to London.
1937, July, Sailed to France – brought his convertible and drove for 10 weeks throughout Europe with Billings.
1938, June, Sailed Across Atlantic – sailed overseas with his father and brother, Joe, to work with his father, who was then Franklin D. Roosevelt's U.S. ambassador to the Court of St. James at the American embassy in London. He then went to Czechoslovakia and Germany before returning to London on September 1, 1939, the day Germany invaded Poland.
1939, September 3, London, UK – The family was in the House of Commons for speeches endorsing the United Kingdom's declaration of war on Germany.
1939, Europe to New York City – his first transatlantic flight.
1941, South America – helped his father write a memoir about his father's three years as an American ambassador, and then traveled throughout South America.
1941, World War II, Panama and South Pacific – commanded a patrol torpedo (PT) boat.
5 Travel Related Seeds of Greatness to Plant in your Children
These five things will help plant the seeds of greatness into the mind our of sons and daughters, and increase their capacity to empathize with the world outside the USA.
1. Live abroad for six months to stop being insulated Americans – to stop being Americans for one time in their lives – and learn to think as global citizens.
2. Learn Spanish or French to think in a different culture.
3. Take Eurorail around Europe for one month to empathize with Europeans.
4. Travel the Amazon River to feel the immense nature of the planet.
5. Visit Ghana or Kenya to see the world from different eyes.
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I have basically accomplished the 1st three seeds and in a way numbers 4 and 5 by traveling on rivers in other countries though not anything resembling the Amazon.
Closest I've come to Africa was Saudi Arabia.
It is a travel destination on my list but doubtful as I grow older.
I have 12 areas on my list and quite honestly only Egypt, So. Africa and Morocco are in Africa.
I did have a former female employee who went on the Amazon for over 2 months in the '70s and had some great stories of her adventure. If I were younger I would definitely have this on my list.
Seeing the world from different eyes I have been able to do that.
Learned (a little of each as needed) Italian, German, Japanese and gave up on Chinese. Lived in Italy 1 1/2 yrs, Germany 8 yrs, Japan 3 yrs and China less than 1 yr.
Been married to Japanese/American, German and now Chinese. A few lady friends between marriages from other countries.
I have thought of myself as a global citizen for a long time and have only twice experienced a problem in another country.
1st time was Mexico where I and 2 friends had a barroom altercation in Mexicali and then the local corrupt cops. We did get away OK.
The other time in Munich with a stupid drunk punk which ended up arrested when he pushed the lady cop around that came on the scene. This one was very funny to watch.
Other than that I have met many fantastic people from all walks of life. I have to admit my not traveling as much as I once did has made life, though pleasant, also boring very often.
Both my children are also well traveled and know German.
One of the problems in our government and probably most others is they have people who represent them in other countries that go there with little or no real knowledge (other than some quick "Foreign Lands For Dummies" study) LOL. They call these people Statesmen or women.
I'm sure that many stateswomen do a "fine" job according to the "rules" but have no idea how often they are actually ignored, laughed at, etc after they leave some of the countries they go to.
I know this to be true having been a fed and talking with locals. Oh well I enjoyed myself and always got along.