Perhaps the best place to view the world from is space.
The International Space Station (ISS), seems to be a place where nations can co-operate. Space from earth has now been witnessed by a variety of nationalities on board, past and present. Five different space agencies representing 15 countries, Americas NASA, Russia’s Roscosmo, European Space Agency, Canada and Japan. Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, the first astronaut of royal blood, and the first Arab and Muslim to fly in outer space, said:
“The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day, we were aware of only one Earth. “
The first British astronaut was Helen Sharman, not under British sponsorship at the time. We are all travelers, visiting other countries as part of our education, to learn about their people, languages and customs. Those of us who are migrant travelers may stay longer in one place, contributing our expertise while learning a foreign culture and serving as an example of our own.
Many people were welcomed into Britain when they were driven from their own country by war, or famine. Space must be the last place which man (sic) has not contaminated by war, despite the current focus on a film called Star Wars. Is it in man’s genetic make up to destroy?
Some migrants return to rebuild their own country, spreading the knowledge of what it is to be different. British people speak of the warm welcome and hospitality they received in Poland. Interestingly the word in Greek “xeno”, means both stranger and hospitality.
People have traveled since time immemorial, as witnessed by the mummified body of Ortze Bronze Age traveler. A little window of learning on the past. He has weapons, his food, and the tattoos indicating acupuncture points. He was found on the border of Switzerland and Italy, but probably belonged to neither. A global citizen perhaps.
Tracey Curtis Taylor of ‘Bird in a Biplane’ travels across borders and views the world from a different height.
“Flying over the Grand Canyon, jaw dropping views, wonderful flying, wonderful filming that day, then the engine lost power at high density altitude, very frustrating.”
“I’ve always had a sense of history, particularly colonial history. The Scramble for Africa, is esssential reading. “ Now having flown to Australia, having visited visited all these countries, I want to understand what happened. The Russian empire. The British empire, Those are the struggles that interest me, because that shaped so much of the modern world.”
The historian Peter Francopan, himself of European heritage, looks at the grand sweep of history and the rise and fall of empire in The Silk Roads. We need a wider vision. When countries can come together to explore and investigate space in the ISS , It highlights the short term and limited vision of countries, presidents, and leaders facing off to each other .
Last word from Tracey Curtis Taylor:
“Yet we’re bombarded by the war, the violence, the terrorism, the hatred that’s the awful part. It’s not just about one career, every job I’ve had has been a different life ,I’ve had many lives in many countries , incredibly rich and diverse, and that’s what we want to convey to people. It is all out there It is more magical ,there are amazing people and amazing opportunities.”
Her interview will follow.