Where would I go?On September 20, 2018 by Carley Grace
If I had the opportunity to travel anywhere I wanted, I would probably pick Eastern Asia. Japan is highly technologically advanced and they have a heavy influence on western culture. They have one of, if not the highest, life expectancy rates in the world. North Korea and China are both developing economically at such a fast rate, and they are home to some of the most bustling cities in the world. Hong Kong is the closest thing on earth to a free market with minimal government interference. Taiwan is home to some amazing scenery, including mountains, hot springs, forests, national parks and ocean views. All of these countries offer a unique perspective on lifestyle, cuisine, art, language and politics. These countries have histories that are ancient and truly fascinating to learn about.
I’ve heard it said before, America lives in the present, while many of these Eastern Asian countries live for the future. Many of their policies are reflective of that. For example, China’s one child policy was implemented to prevent overpopulation in the future. Japan’s population is becoming increasingly elderly. I believe 25% of the population is currently age 65 or older. That number is expected to increase to 33% in the next 30 years or so. Families feel obligated to have children so someone will be able to care for them in the future. This general mindset of living in the future instead of the present is an interesting concept to me and I would be interested in experiencing it in person.
Another interesting aspect of Eastern Asian culture is religion. There is Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, but most people are non-practicing. Temples and Pagodas are scattered throughout the countries, but the majority of the population does not regularly practice any religion. I came from a religious family. Both of my grandfathers were pastors and I lived in the Bible Belt my entire life. The concept of religion not being a prominent part of societal and family expectations is foreign, but intriguing concept to me.