Ze Frank, the longtime internet personality first known for his wonderful dancing GIFs, and now probably best known for his informative and hilariously bizarre True Facts series, recently put together this meditation on trust, featuring Cirque de Soleil performers Alya Titarenko and Gael Ouisse. Frank mentions the importance of trusting in someone so you can relax and pay more attention to other parts of your surroundings, and it strikes me that this is one of the most fundamental features of serious travel.
International travelers have all probably had their trust betrayed at some point, because to a certain extent, every person you meet in a foreign country must be immediately trusted. That cab driver at the airport? You have to trust he knows how to drive, isn’t cheating you, or isn’t taking you to a remote spot to get robbed. You have to trust that your fellow hostelers aren’t going to rifle through your pockets when you aren’t looking, or that your hotel room lock is truly secure — that only you have the key, and that the cleaning crew has no interest in your passport or cash.
There are of course things you can do to give trust to fewer people — private hired cars, combination safes, unshared rooms — but those are a) generally all more expensive, and b) defeat much of the purpose of travel. Because as we move through the world, we’re spending a good deal of our time putting our lives in complete strangers’ hands. And there are plenty of times our trust will, both in small and big ways, be betrayed.
But if we want to keep traveling, after each betrayal we need to get out of our bed the next day and start trusting again.