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International instability is ever present, but the world seems especially turbulent right now.

There's a global rise in authoritarianism and a decline in democracy. The relative stability of the Cold War has yielded to a volatile hot one in Ukraine. And other conflicts across continents, including in Israel/Gaza, Sudan and elsewhere — even South America, where Venezuela has threatened Guyana — mark, and mar, these times.

And yet, perhaps counterintuitively, those traveling abroad feel more connected to the world, and feel their fellow Americans should be, too.

That's the takeaway from a new Pew Research Center report, "Americans who have traveled internationally stand out in their views and knowledge of foreign affairs." It's a subset of a more expansive analysis, "Attitudes on an Interconnected World."

Americans who have traveled internationally also "feel closer to others around the world, and favor a more active foreign policy," Pew reports.

Pew divided Americans into three groups — "Globetrotters," or those who have traveled to at least five countries (26% of Americans); "Casual Travelers," who have visited between one and four other nations (about half of the country): and "Nontravelers," the 23% who have never traveled abroad. Intuitively, internationalists (the globetrotters) show the highest level of interest in foreign affairs, at 81%, followed by 64% for casual travelers and 48% of nontravelers. Two-thirds of globetrotters follow international news closely, while 51% of casual travelers and 41% of nontravelers do.

And this attention relates to the intensity in which they think America should engage internationally, with 57% of globetrotters believing "it's best for the U.S. to be active in world affairs," while 43% of casual travelers and 30% of nontravelers believe so. A similar split exists on the question of whether "the U.S. should take other countries' interests into account even if it means making compromises" — 66% of globetrotters agree, compared of 59% of casual travelers and 53% of nontravelers.

It's even more revealing that 42% of globetrotters "feel close to people all over the world," while 34% and 30% of casual travelers and nontravelers, respectively, concurred.

As much as the U.S.-based globetrotters are an outlier, Americans overall diverge from the world on the global closeness question, finishing fourth from last among 24 nations surveyed, with only 35% answering affirmatively. That's well below Italians — tops at 79% — and even significantly below Canada at 51%, which has a similar geographic, economic and demographic profile to the U.S. America also has a much lower global travel profile despite having the highest per-capita income of the two dozen nations studied.

It's not just people worldwide whom Americans don't feel particularly close to. The U.S. ranks fourth-lowest in that category, but last in feeling "very/somewhat close to people in their country" (66%) and "people in their local community" (54%). The divergence from the other countries suggests the deepening divide in America is eroding relationships not just across the world but also across the street.

"We see the biggest ideological difference in the U.S. compared to other countries in the survey and just in general, and it's pretty consistent with what we see on lots of issues we look at," said Richard Wike, Pew's director of global attitudes research. "Americans are very divided on ideological lines on many issues; you certainly see that when it comes to questions about international engagement; often these differences have gotten larger over the past few years."

That's apparent in the data — and daily headlines.

In many countries, Pew reports, "people on the left are much more likely than those on the right to say it is best for their country to be active in world affairs." The U.S. is tops in this divide, with a 35-percentage point difference between the 30% on the right and the 65% on the left who say that "it's best for the future of their country to be active in world affairs." America is also the most divided on a similar question on whether the country "should take into account the interests of other countries when dealing with major international issues," with a 44-point gap between the right (38%) and the left (82%).

This gap has grown significantly during the Biden years, but not because of liberals: 63% of that cohort said toward the end of the Trump administration that "it's best for the future of their country to be active in world affairs" while 65% say so now. Conversely, conservative support for the statement has plunged from 46% to 30%. The result was apparent this week when enough Republicans rebuffed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's direct appeal to Congress for continued war funding.

There's risk for the country — and Minnesota — when politics starts, not stops, at the water's edge. Alternatively, there are many benefits for the state if its North Star aligns with the mission of Global Minnesota: "to advance international understanding and engagement."

There are "a number of benefits to gaining international understanding and awareness," said Phil Hansen, president of the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. Among those are creating the possibility for engagement, innovation and collaboration, Hansen said. "As we connect with people across the globe, we begin to understand how other communities across the world are handling environmental, social, cultural issues, the ways that they're approaching some of these more challenging things in the world."

While Pew's research reflects national, not state, data, Hansen thinks that "if the study was done here, I think we would probably see a similar but maybe even heightened trendline on global travel and interest in world affairs." Citing the recent Governor's International Trade Awards and International Investment Awards, Hansen said that he believes Minnesota "sort of punches above its weight class a little bit in terms of its engagement with the world, in its participation in everything from commerce and understanding of our society and other cultures around the world. And I think people here certainly resonate with this."

That view matches my experience with personal travel, as well as reporting trips to nine nations as a Star Tribune journalist, in which the common humanity among everyday people left a more indelible impression than the geopolitical differences expressed by government officials. Indeed, the world, in turn, often resonates with Minnesota, offering a connectivity that's an antidote to this perilous global moment.

So, pack your bags.

And don't forget your passport.