That's what a good story provides,
a Parallel universe.
Introducing characters and places
that you never imagined or would ever bump into in your everyday life.
Between books and some of the marvelous shows streaming on television,
you can be in outer space one minute, in Kabul the next,
or on the seedy streets of New York,
all of it giving you a window into the imagination of your fellow travelers
in your universe.
"Fiction as we currently think of it, the novel and short story...offers one the very best
means of understanding people different from oneself, short of experience.
Fiction is often really much more useful than lived experience;
it takes much less time, costs nothing (from the library), and comes in a manageable,
orderly form. You can understand it. Experience just steamrollers over you and you begin to see
what happened only years and years later, if ever. Fiction is much better than reality
at providing useful factual, psychological, and moral understanding."
That's a quote from Ursula K. Le Guin, who has recently departed this world,
but left us with a treasure trove of other wildly imaginative worlds.
Quote from the wave of the mind, by Ursula K. Le Guin.