This reminds me of the saying that we are more alike than unalike. While in Amsterdam I took a ride on a boat through the city canals. It's a perspective that had me looking up at the houses, streets and people above the water level. It was a covered boat but sat outside the whole time taking photos. Being a foreigner I find it particularly interesting to watch people. I think that's a natural reaction to a new place, maybe because we relate to people more than surroundings.
I think people in most places around the world have a lot in common. Where we live is part of the equation, but not the most important part, at least that's my theory.
People here seem to be happy. There is a sensibility that's rarely found in North America, we have it but in isolated cases. What is it? It's hard to put my finger on it. Folks are content to ride bikes instead of cars. People spend quality time together rather than work all the time. It's a sense of identity of a small country that is sometimes lost in a large country. And then of course there are the laws, they are very different.
All that aside, at our core we are more alike than unalike. We think about many of the same things, we feel the same, we react to the same things. By experiencing and learning from each other we become wiser. When we look closely at people we realize we are not so different.
Photography is sometimes an opportunity to meditate on these ideas, to cut through the exterior and make a connection. That may sound counter-intuitive, but I think there's something to it, at least for me. But then, if we're not all that different maybe it is for you too.