Visiting a school

The Danger of A Single Story and Lessons in Humility

This blog is part of a series where we unpack our Backpacktivist Manifesto using video, articles, music, and other forms of media. We invite you to critically reflect with us on what it truly means to be an ethical traveler.

Travelling is a humbling experience so long as you let it be. Humility allows us to connect to anyone – be it a doctor, teacher, farmer or street performer. A backpacktivist may look silly searching for words in a new language, but the very attempt connects them to locals on a different level.


The following video is from Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, where she discusses the importance of listening to multiple and varied narratives to gain a fuller, more nuanced understanding of different cultures and of each other. It is full of lessons in humility and is one that we, at OG, always come back to.

Questions for Thought:

  1. What do you think about the quote, “the single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make the one story become the only story.
  2. In what cases did Chimamanda Adichie experience humility and to what effect?
  3. What stories do you expect to find and uncover on your program?