Here’s a list of things I am working on, for now, to prep for future travel and global understanding.
- Studying Norwegian every day. About 15 minutes on vocabulary. About 10-20 minutes reading Norwegian texts. About 10-20 minutes watching either a Netflix TV show in Norwegian, or YT videos in Norwegian.
- I periodically review Spanish. Currently spending less time on this to focus more on Norwegian.
- Reading a 1,000-page textbook on international business.
- Have begun studying World history via Khan Academy. This material is targeted at high school students – so why? I just realized this past week I missed nearly 2 years of K-12 education (due to injury, illness and stupidly skipping 12th grade) and never had world history education. A big take away is the critical importance of early trade to advancing civilization. Literally, travel has always been a critical component to sharing ideas, obtaining materials, goods and knowledge – leading to ever more inventions and advances that ultimately benefit all. Back then, travel was limited – usually – to leaders, soldiers, and business traders. Even today, as I have observed, travel experience remains critical to all leaders and business people. (By leaders, I do not mean just political leaders – could be leaders in business, art, science, and other fields.)
- After finishing the above two reading selections, I intend to read additional specific histories of countries in Europe. I have completed one book on the history of parts of Scandinavia, and another on Dutch history and culture. To illustrate how bad my K-12 history education was, I had zero knowledge of the role that the Dutch played in the founding of the U.S. and our principles of freedom and Democracy. I was unaware that the Pilgrims had lived in the Netherlands before setting sail to the new world. That, in turn, is kind of awkward: My wife’s hobby is family history and she can, in fact, trace her lineage back to a couple that arrived on the Mayflower, which is amazing. (Several million people have, today, descended from some of those on the Mayflower so this is not as unique as it sounds.) Anyway, I have a LOT of catching up to do on world history and culture!
Still no idea when I will start to plan a first trip to Europe. Everything remains too uncertain, random and potentially subject to abrupt closure to begin planning yet.