Probably the absolute best part of the Olympics is watching the world come together to compete in a language we all understand, sports! Okay we may not understand Curling, Hockey or the thrill of plunging down a icy-slide head first, but we do understand that for a moment in time, all of those athletes are competing for the same dream, regardless of their language or background. They are representing the best of their nation as the best in their discipline.
The other day I happend to tune into the Women’s Super-G to watch Lindsey Vonn go for the Gold Medal. As we all know, she finished off the podium, put in the course of the Super-G, I managed to find another golden gem, Liechtenstein! I had heard about it before, I have actually had friends visit there last year, but to be honest I knew very little about it until Tina Weirather (Liechtenstein) won the bronze medal. And that sent my google into overdrive.
“Liechtenstein is a small country situated on the banks of the Rhine in Central Europe, between the Swiss canton of St. Gallen and the Austrian province of Vorarlberg. The official language is German, though day-to-day affairs are conducted in two Alemannic dialects. Comprising eleven municipalities, the principality is a constitutional hereditary monarchy on a parliamentary and democratic basis. The head of state is Prince Hans-Adam II von Liechtenstein.” (https://tourismus.li/en/our-country/about-liechtenstein/).
They do not have an international airport to speak of, the best way to get there is through Zurich, then take a train to the border, where you board a bus to the capital, which is Vaduz. After you tour around the city, you reverse the order. That is unless you ski, then you stick around a few days and enjoy their piece of the Alps.
They are a land of Fairy-tale castles and charming people. A “must-do” if you are in that region. Definitely a place I now have a desire to travel to! However that is not the underlying message of this post… the underlying message is that for the next few days, the whole word is united in our love of watching our country compete in the Olympics, hearing the stories of atheletes from around the world who have overcome incredible odds to show the best their country has to offer! We are mesmerized by a whole world united for a few days and wonder why the world can not be like that every day! I believe it is because for a few days every 2 years we take the time to focus on what we have in common, what unites us, instead of our differences. We see that no matter where these athletes come from, they have all worked hard and given their best to be there.
As tourist we have the incredible opportunity to live in that world of understanding, to seek out new cultures, new opportunities, new relationships. We have the option to visit places like Liechtenstein, to interact with their culture, their traditions and see the best that they have to give everyday, and not just on an Olympic Podium. We have the incredible opportunity to start building bridges to other cultures, a path of understanding that there truly is more that unites us then divides us! That “Its a Small World” is more than a Disney attraction, but truly a way a life!! After all we are all a part of one race, the human race, and its the best race there is!
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust