As I listened yesterday to the roll call of 9/11 victims’ names, reflecting so many vastly different places of origin, so many different families and cultures, I was thinking about travel in its broadest sense. Despite 9/11, or perhaps even in some ways because of it, America’s connections to the world have broadened and deepened over the past decade. Though we are a country of immigrants, we are also a country known for turning inward, and for staying within our shores. Despite the fear of terrorism, the ongoing economic crisis, the challenges of airport security, and the wages of wars and geopolitical strife, Americans have fanned out beyond our borders in greater numbers and with a greater spirit of exploration than ever before.
We go farther off the beaten path, to China, India, Russia, and Brazil—economies that not entirely coincidentally are rapidly expanding—and to Africa, Bhutan, and Patagonia. This is the best response to those that have us in their sights: an open mind, an open heart, and the thirst for new experiences of the world.
Nancy Novogrod is the editor-in-chief of Travel + Leisure.