Written by Kylie Jones
Travel has the ability to broaden your perspective and change your world view. I firmly believe that you can learn a lot about yourself and others through traveling.
Traveling is a different type of learning than sitting in a classroom. However, I think traveling is just as important — maybe even more important — than school. Whether you travel stateside or abroad, you will learn practical disciplines for life that you cannot learn in a school setting.
I think the biggest thing you can learn while traveling is how to step out of your comfort zone. Traveling pushes you to talk to strangers, experience exotic foods, see things that you may not get the opportunity to see at home, and become more aware of the surrounding world.
Traveling teaches you how to communicate with those who speak different languages. You naturally learn little pieces of the language. When verbal communication fails — and it will, when you are in another culture that speaks a different language — you learn how to successfully communicate through gestures and facial expressions.
Traveling will humble you. It will make you realize how small you are in comparison to the world and helps you understand issues that are bigger than yourself. It will give you a passion for those who are in far-off places, and your heart will ache when you leave them.
Traveling has the ability to leave you speechless. It may be a beautiful sunset or the stranger you met on the tram. I believe traveling is the perfect way to bring life to the things you learn in school. Seeing paintings, sculptures and architecture you have studied about your whole life puts all the hours spent in a classroom into perspective. The stories and people become real.
Traveling is not always fun or glamorous. In fact, it often leaves you tired and frustrated. Things will not always go your way, and you must learn to roll with the punches. You will have delays, you will feel overwhelmed by the crowds, you will want to go home. However, it is through those frustrations that you are able to discover the true beauty of exploration.
Some things you have to experience for yourself; there are things you simply cannot learn in a classroom. School helps prepare us for the future, but travel helps prepare us for the moment. There is a special spontaneity that travel encourages that studying cannot replicate.