Making travel a priority leads to enriching experiences

by Catherine Van Weele, Opinion Editor

People are always being encouraged to travel around the world to have new, exciting experiences. With school or work, making plans to travel is not something at the forefront of our minds, but we should start making it a priority.

Even if you are just going a few cities over, there is much to gain from adventuring beyond our homes. We can learn and grow a lot from traveling.

There is a little thrill in knowing there is a fun trip planned ahead. We all need a few days or weeks out of the year to decompress from our work and stressors to experience a new environment or simply to relax. Traveling gives us something to look forward to when we become fatigued from the routine of our everyday lives. It reminds us of the amazing things we have yet to experience. 

Traveling forces us to get out of our comfort zones. 

It gets us to navigate around unique communities. Figuring out how to get from point A to point B in a place you’ve never been before can be daunting, especially if you don’t speak the language, but the more you do it, the more trip savvy you’ll become. It sharpens your skillset. Traveling brings forth the explorer within all of us. 

Most importantly, you learn about other cultures and get to cherish the diversity in the world. You are able to witness first hand the different ways to experience life through the people you meet, destinations you tour and the food you eat. 

There are incredible people everywhere. By traveling you can meet people from all walks of life and discover how people in other parts of the world live their day-to-day lives. Their stories can provide a fresh perspective on life. You can form lifelong friendships with people from all over the world. 

There is an unfathomable amount of beautiful sights and architecture to see. Admiring these masterpieces can further our awe and appreciation for our home planet. By visiting significant cultural monuments, we can better understand and recognize the rich histories of our world.

Trying new foods is perhaps the best part of traveling. Different cuisines bring new flavors, spices, meats, vegetables and cooking methods into our lives and enhance our taste buds. The types of dishes countries or regions often shed insight into their history and culture. 

We may even learn something new about ourselves through traveling. We become more confident and more open-minded. Traveling can lead to overall greater levels of happiness. It stimulates our minds and can boost our moods.

As college students, it is challenging to find the time and the funds to go on a trip, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 

Creating a budget to save money over the span of a few months can save you enough money for a trip for at least a few days. Planning far in advance blocks out time from your work or school for you to go and travel. Booking hotels, flights and tours early can be cheaper and secures your itinerary. 

Traveling is something very doable to achieve no matter where we are in life.

There is so much out in the world to be explored, and we shouldn’t let anything hold us back from that.

Catherine Van Weele is a sophomore studying political science. Follow her on Twitter @catievanweele.