My native and resident country, Japan is a nation of islands. Going abroad used to and remains to have a special connotation for its inhabitants.
I went abroad for the first time when I was 15. I still remember the shock as the airplane descended to Vancouver international airport. I happened to observe what later turned out to be quite an ordinary residential area by Canadian standards. However, at that time, the spacious greens in which the houses, some of them with pools in the backyard, seemed to be a scene from another planet.
Now, when I travel out of and into the Tokyo International airport, the shocks still persist more or less, albeit in a diminished manner. On the other hand, I seem to begin to discern a more universal and global pattern common to all world regions, no matter how different the languages and habitats might appear on the surface.
As time passes, I seem to be more concerned on what is universally human.
I never took a serious interest in nationalism, or in people who advocate it.
As the shock of differences fade away, the light of universality emerges. And we follow the light.