Comments on: Travelers As Diplomats? travel wide, live deep Fri, 22 May 2015 12:00:16 +0000 hourly 1 By: Top Travel Blogs :: #SeeTheWorld Creation Curation : Part I Mon, 02 Sep 2013 07:02:23 +0000 […] Travelers as Diplomats? by Uncornered […]

By: Audrey Scott Sun, 28 Jul 2013 12:29:20 +0000 @Brandon: I couldn’t agree with you more on this. And yes, you made sense! It’s so important to bring back the story & be “diplomats” of the places you visit. We’ve nicknamed it “two-way storytelling” – telling the story of your own home while sharing the story of the place you’ve visited. It’s one of the goals of this blog to share stories of countries and people who are often misunderstood or who only show up on the news when political strife or violence occurs. In this, we’ve tried to bring a personal view and more nuanced understanding to regions like Central Asia or Central America and countries like Iran or Bangladesh. These are areas that people often equate with dangerous or inhospitable, but our personal experiences have been anything but that.

By: Brandon S. Sun, 28 Jul 2013 06:20:52 +0000 Compared to some of your other commenters I’m simply a person who loves to travel and a career adjustment at the beginning of the year means that I get to enjoy it even more. With that being said, I believe that the idea of travelers as diplomats applies not just to bringing a better understanding of the majority of the American public to cultures whose experience with the US is typically limited to whatever is read or seen on TV but it also applies the other way round. We as travelers also get to bring the exposure of other cultures back to our home towns. We’re allowed access to a different way of life and have the opportunity to dispel the myths that those at home may have of the countries we visit. One of my favorites? That the French are notoriously un-friendly and calloused to the American public even though my own experience has led me to believe otherwise (that they’re wonderfully hospitable). With all that, we as travelers are not just diplomats for our home countries but we’re also diplomats for the countries we visit.

I think that made sense…. I tend to ramble sometimes.

By: Audrey Scott & Daniel Noll from – Part 1 of 2 – Location Liberated Interviews #1 Wed, 21 Sep 2011 17:57:11 +0000 […] Thai beach bungalow on Koh Samui for $500/month 2) Travelers as Citizen Diplomats 3) Curiosity begins at home 4) Living outside comfort zone and traveling outside your comfort zone […]

By: Audrey Scott Mon, 14 Mar 2011 10:59:00 +0000 @LJCohen: Just realized that we never responded to your comment – don’t know how this slipped through! When you visit a country, the place (and more importantly, its people) sticks with you. You have context for understanding the news and realize that often what is presented is only a small fraction of the total story.

@Tania: Thank you so much for connecting on Twitter with us and for leaving such a long comment. Apologies for the delay in responding – we’re just now catching our breath after our visit to Jordan.

It’s interesting to hear how your views have changed since being part of the military and US/Nato foreign policy machine. Having grown up as a kid of diplomats and also working for a public policy organization, I also had certain views that have changed since traveling independently.

I’m not sure that we’ve ever met someone who had never heard of the US, but we have met people who really had no idea about the country or its people. Kind of refreshing and nice to be the first American fact that person meets.

Good luck with your return to school and thanks for following along with our journey!

By: Tania Nesser Sat, 05 Mar 2011 02:32:22 +0000 What a wonderful, well-written post.

Yes! I believe we (travelers)do play a big role as informal diplomats through daily cultural exchanges. I am at the end of 3 1/2 years of independent travels after serving 12 years in the Air Force (seven years spent overseas). I am getting ready to return to school and one of my admissions essays was about the importance of being an informal goodwill ambassador abroad and at home.

My views have changed enormously as someone who was once a part of the U.S./NATO foreign policy machine, but now identifies as an independent backpacker/citizen diplomat. Mark Twain cleverly said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness” which accurately expresses how I’ve evolved through traveling.

While in Burma, I met a monk novice who had never heard of the U.S. My mind was blown to have met someone who had no preconceived notions about the country I am from. Have you had a similar cultural experience?


p.s. Thank you for following me on Twitter otherwise I may have continued to miss out on your wonderful site. As a travel blog junkie, I’m shocked I’ve never stumbled upon it before. Thank you!

By: LJCohen Sat, 17 Apr 2010 20:24:08 +0000 Yes–I originally found your blog via that post on Kyrgyzstan and Thailand and travel. And I’ve now subscribed to it on my RSS reader. (Found you via Ben Young from Global Travel Health, a friend we met in our travels).

I’ve been very frustrated about the kind of coverage Kyrgyzstan has gotten in the media and blogged about it here, in a series of posts:

My poor readers have probably been confused, since 90% of my posts are about fiction or poetry writing. :)

By: Audrey Scott Sat, 17 Apr 2010 01:22:01 +0000 @LJCohen: Thanks so much for sharing your story of hosting Kyrgyz student and then going to visit Kyrgyzstan with your family! The timing of this is also important as the image many people have of Kyrgyzstan right now is not very positive because of the recent protests that turned violent. Yet it’s such a beautiful country in regards to its people and landscape. We write about media and bias related to this here:

And, you are so right when you say that travel allows one to see parts of the world different from your own and relate as individuals, in that universal human way. Travel also makes one challenge your assumptions about your home country and the rest of the world. I am sure you will have many more opportunities to be a citizen diplomat – once you start, it’s hard to stop!

By: LJCohen Wed, 14 Apr 2010 14:29:14 +0000 Your experience mirrors mine. After inviting a Kyrgyz student to live with us while she completed her graduate studies here in the US, my family and I traveled with her to Kyrgyzstan last summer for a 3 week trip.

It was the trip of a lifetime for us and for our teenage boys. It was also a precious opportunity to cut through the media hype and political rhetoric on both sides and have individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds interact on the most basic and fundamental level: as individuals.

It also ignited a fierce desire to travel and see the world in both my boys. The world is so much more than most of us ever understand from our narrow viewpoints. Being able to experience a different way of life and to see it as valid and authentic even when it is different than your own, is invaluable.

I hope I can have the opportunity to act as ‘citizen diplomat’ again, because in the end, it enriches my life beyond measure.

Best regards,
Lisa Cohen

By: Audrey Scott Mon, 11 Jan 2010 01:40:28 +0000 @Bessie: Glad we helped serve as an inspiration to take a non-traditional approach to life and travel! The more we see of the world, the more we see our own country misunderstood on so many levels. There’s a whole slew of reasons for these perceptions (e.g., media, Hollywood movies, etc.), but I still believe that making connections on a one-to-one basis and sharing personal knowledge about your country can make a difference. Not only may this change the person’s perception of your country, but the exchange of ideas and experiences is fulfilling for both parties.