One of the reasons I am so completely enthralled with foreign travel is to experience the cultural diversity it offers. I travel to experience what is unique and different about the countries I visit.
In visiting my ancestral roots in Portugal I was struck by the pride and dignity of this poor country tottering on the brink of economic ruin.
In Nazare I was charmed by old Portuguese women in native costumes selling nuts and percebes along the scenic backdrop of the Atlantic.
In Lisbon and Sintra I was gripped by melancholy as I viewed achingly beautiful medieval castles decaying inch by inch into eventual and unforgiving ruin.
Throughout all of Portugal I was struck by with the extreme differences between this ancient, poor country and the United States.... that is until I happened upon this alley in Porto.
This scene with the youths in baggy jeans and untied athletic shoes, texting to friends on their cell phones while whiling away the time, could have been Anywhere, USA.
And this scene reminded me that for all of its cultural diversity, the world holds one universal truth ... that underneath all the trappings of thousands of unique cultures ...we really are all the same.