7 Powerful Reasons People Love To Travel
For the first 14 years of my life, I never gave travel much thought. I was surrounded by nothing more than the New Jersey suburb where I grew up, and the only trips I went on were family vacations to Orlando, Florida (coincidentally where I currently live). It was not until my freshman year in high school when something clicked; I wanted to travel abroad. After a six month stay in Japan during my third year in college, I knew how important the experience of travel truly was. I realized that what you learn from being abroad you cannot learn anywhere else.
Traveling gave me this indescribable independence that I realized I could not get enough of when I returned to the States. Since I never really traveled before my study abroad trip, especially solo, this feeling was new to me. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. I had to learn directions, how to pay my bills, and how to feed myself all on my own (and with a little help from Google). Through trial and error, I learned how to thrive in my new home town.
This new-found independence was a bit of a confidence booster as well! Knowing I could take on Tokyo, the world’s largest metropolitan area, makes me feel like I can take on any other task, especially travel related, that gets thrown my way. That confidence also spilled into my social life as well. I did not feel so shy anymore, and therefore, I was able to build relationships while I was abroad. Now I have friends from South Korea to Brazil and everywhere inbetween that can always come in handy for networking in the future.
I wanted to learn everything that I could from my surroundings abroad. Whether that meant taking a new route home every day or trying all the local restaurants that I could, I put myself out there. In doing so, I became much more culturally sensitive. I thrived on seeing how others live their daily lives during my travels (even if it’s just to another part of the United States). I loved exploring places like grocery stores, local bars, even the local home goods store just to get a glimpse of what is the norm for people in Japan. When I came back to America, I felt like I could understand others more knowing that not everyone eats the same food, buys the same products, or problem solves the same way I do.
The longer I was abroad, the more curious I became about life in other parts of the world. By the end of my experience, I felt like I became a more global person. Nowadays, employers are looking for people who have intercultural experience. In a world where globalization is forever growing, it’s so important to use your knowledge of other cultural values to help you land a job. It also doesn’t hurt to pick up another language too if you have the opportunity. Even if you don’t become fluent, it is still a valuable asset in the job market that shows you have the skills to learn.
What started out as a curiosity for the world around me turned into a full-blown passion for traveling and what it can teach me. There is more to traveling than just the shiny, tourist areas and the Instagram-worthy photo-ops. You can learn so much more about your surroundings, and about yourself, if you just take the road less traveled.