From Sri Lanka to Berkshire: how great stories can travel the globe

Written by Katie Barnett

Having recently returned from my travels around the world (well, some of it at least) I realised that it wasn’t just an excessive number of souvenirs I had brought home with me. I had somehow acquired a vast collection of not only my own, but of other people’s stories of remarkable globetrotting adventures.

While I unpacked and reflected on my time away, I came to realise two things:

Stories are relevant worldwide. Whether it’s from the mouth of a local in a small village in the middle of Cambodia, a receptionist talking about their experiences working in a hotel in Kuala Lumpar, or a text message from your family at home – a good story has the power to cross continents. While the term ‘story’ might bring up connotations of being written on paper, this is not the case. Stories come in all shapes and sizes – be it visual, spoken or written. We encounter stories everywhere we go, and this doesn’t stop when we visit a different country – they are well and truly universal.

Stories have the power to unify us. While the existence of cultural differences on planet Earth is undeniable – a good story should work in any language. Stories are present in all cultures and, despite what you might first think – they aren’t just here to entertain us. Stories can be used as a means to inform and educate. Stories can be seen throughout history, and they are one of the most powerful means of communication.

Want to hear more about storytelling? Join us at the Berkeley Storytelling Academy here, where you can learn more about the power of story.