Although I've long admired Rick Steves' travel advice, his 2009 book of essays entitled Travel as a Political Act is also well worth looking it. Various chapters cover diverse parts of the world, but I was sold on the introduction alone. He describes the experience of watching a whirling dervish and realizing that even though the two men entertain totally different points of view, they each are loyal to their own set of values. Steves writes that he came away with a new sense of the breadth and beauty of humanity. As he concludes, "Experiences like this one can be any trip's most treasured sourvenir. When we return home, we can put what we've learned--our newly acquired broader persepctive--to work as citizens of a great nation confronted with unprecedented challenges. And when we do that, we make travel a political act."
Throughout the book Steves talks about the importance of considering new viewpoints and taking them into consideration when trying to find solutions to new problems. He celebreates the healthy act of politely disagreeing as a step towards achieving new understandings. I couldn't agree more.