His first opportunity to go abroad was through an exchange program. He spent several weeks in a small town in central Sweden. It was the summer (1963) when African-Americans were being attacked by police dogs and fire hoses in places like Birmingham, Alabama. He first really felt his identity as an American when it fell to him to try to explain such sights to his Swedish host family.
Later, during a junior year of college in Vienna, Austria, he saw some of the effects of war. He saw blocks that had been bombed and rebuilt, places where Great Powers had divided the city into sectors, and a city where the number of old women far outnumbered elderly men. In Berlin, he walked from the Eastern part of the city back into the Western, through the Brandenburg Gate, while others died trying to do the same thing he accomplished so easily.
After college, during a stint in the Peace Corps (1968-69), he again became aware of how their country is viewed from other countries. While living and working in a small Iranian town, he became friends with a teacher who had been sidelined by the Shah’s government because of his Marxist leanings. He sent home to his mother a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book, to show a colleague that they actually believed in freedom of speech. One of his fellow Peace Corps Volunteers managed inadvertently to wander a few feet over the border into the Soviet Union near Ardebil, Iran; he spent a couple of weeks in detention before being repatriated.