Travel is overlooked by many people. The thought of boarding a plane to the other side of the world comes across as intimidating and unnecessary. Social media and the internet have made it possible to see the world without leaving your home. You know what the Eiffel Tower looks like, you know the Golden Gate Bridge is red, it’s easy to picture the unique architecture of the Sydney Opera house. Television, radio, internet, and even books have fed us information about the world, putting us under the illusion we know what’s out there. So, why travel?
Travel isn’t about seeing the world, it’s about emerging yourself in it. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, forcing you to adapt. You learn how to take care of yourself, navigate foreign places, and communicate with people who don’t speak the same language as you. It builds you as a person.
When something disastrous happens in another country, people give their condolences, but don’t think twice of it because it wasn’t their home. Travel evokes true sympathy and empathy. When London was terrorized, I felt something different when I heard the news. Although, it’s not the country I live in, I felt genuine pain and sorrow. I was in London weeks before the attack. Walking the streets, eating at the cafes, mingling with the people. It angered me that such a precious city was in distress. People with jobs, families, goals and dreams, had their lives robbed of them. Travel engraves the fact in your heart that every human on this Earth is just as human as you are.
Travel is education in its most pure form. Your mind absorbs knowledge without consciously realizing it. I’ve learned more in a year of travel than I have in four years of high school. Geography, language, culture, history, street skills, etc. It isn’t the same as an education in a classroom with textbooks. You’re not learning for a test, you’re learning because you want to. Visiting a place in flesh sparks more interest that it being an assignment. A year ago, I couldn’t place most countries on a world map and I certainly didn’t know what their flags looked like.
Life shouldn’t be constantly boring. Everyone needs adventure. Travel offers many forms of excitement; the possibilities are limitless. There are surplus mountains to hike, seas to swim in, and cities to get lost in. Different parts of the world offer unique excursions and festivals that give you a glimpse into their culture! Adventure keeps you young, happy, and free-spirited.
The most important thing travel offers, that media cannot give you, is experience. The things you learn, the people you meet, the adventures you have… that’s something that can never be taken away from you. Travel gives you stories to tell for decades, and molds you into a well-rounded human being.