Ben Shelton on an educational trip at the Australian Open

Dhe common American is rather unworldly. He only knows Frankfurters as sausages, Hamburgers only as meatballs with buns, and for him Melbourne is just before or behind the moon. Unless he is sent to a crisis region as a soldier, the American considers his country (God’s Own Country!) to be the hub of the world.

If someone did take flight, they were astonished and enthusiastic, like Ben Shelton from Gainesville, Florida. Shelton is a tennis pro who has gone from world number 547 to 92 in just seven months; and that without ever having set foot on non-American soil.

Winning lower-tier Challenger tournaments at home qualified the US college champion for the first trip abroad of his life, far away to Australia. “It looks almost unreal here,” marveled the 20-year-old in Melbourne, “it’s like a different world.”

The Grand Slam trip was worth it for Shelton, getting into the third round has already given him 148,000 euros. Attention Americans: Travel not only educates, but can also make you rich.

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