What is this country, and who are these people that, from a standing far behind in the race, and greatly helped by our Western consumerism and technology, have fought their way ever closer to the front of the pack, and now are slated to play a dominant role in every conceivable way as this century progresses? Shouldn’t we be interested, even eager to feel its pulse and understand what drives this enormous population in their unstoppable surge for progress? A people endowed with a certain genetic wisdom, industrious by nature, that greatly values education and discipline can only shine in competition with the West, where these values increasingly seem to lose their luster. It’s only by integrating the past and the present of this remarkable destination that we can hope to gain a better understanding. Only by breathing the air, feeling the dynamic and sharing the space can we hope to see beneath the modern veneer-clad images the media are able to convey. Though essential to attract visitors, merely depicting China’s romantic past of the Great Wall and Forbidden City doesn’t sufficiently allow us to touch its soul and feel its pulse.
Don’t we owe it to ourselves to try to better understand these people, to see beyond the external changes and the popular notion that China is merely the sweatshop of the West? Isn’t China, after all, our major competitor, not only for global natural resources but also in budding technological advancement? Wouldn’t we want to know them better? And what better way to do that than from the comfort and pampering of Seabourn Pride, without the need to schlep from crowded airport to crowded airport, hotel room to hotel room, restaurant to restaurant?
I think these are the real reasons why travelers should use the opportunity to sail with Seabourn Pride, explore China, and also Korea and Japan, both of which are in different stages of a similar (re)evolution. We all live in the age of Asia… Let’s experience it now.