I interviewed astronaut Chris Hadfield for the BBC and put the question to him. I loved his answer. In part:
It’s not so much my wanderlust that’s changed, it’s more a respect for the absolute commonality of the human experience. Yes, there’s a strong local influence – our own history and culture and sets of laws – but when you go around the world every 92 minutes, the sameness overwhelms the differences. The repeated pattern of human habitation. How we set up cities. How that pattern looks whether it’s a city in Alberta or Africa or Australia. You’re passing over Canada and in 20 minutes you’re over Africa. You see the commonalities much more strongly than you see the differences.