I had an interesting conversation with my dad recently. I proposed that travel is a great way for a person to grow, to become more worldly and improve their character -- to become a "better" person.
He shook his head in disagreement. I was shocked, as I thought that this was a truth.
"Son," he said for emphasis, "you could be locked up in a room for a year and come out just as improved as if you had traveled the world."
I've been mulling this over since that conversation. You already have heard of this concept from the monks who meditate for decades to become enlightened.
Whilst I do agree with my father, that one could in fact, alone with his own fortitude and thought (or in Zen, lack of thought), become a better person. I still think that traveling is a faster and more efficient alternative.
Plus, who wants to sit in a room for a decade?
Food for thought, I guess.