Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
By: Juliana Wall, Staff Writer
As Pico Iyer wrote in his famous essay Why We Travel, “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel next, to find ourselves.”
In reality, students can only learn so much about the world around them by sitting in a classroom. Whether in high school or college, it is beneficial to know important facts, but having the liberty to apply that knowledge to experience in the real world can be life changing.
Not only is traveling a gateway for learning, but it can also be a window into the depths of the human soul, therefore allowing the individual to discover who they truly are. Young people, especially, are in that stage of life where they are figuring out their place in society, and therefore, can greatly benefit from new experiences as they think retrospectively on their own lives. When people are out of their comfort zone, they are forced to adapt and build confidence and that alone can show people what they are truly made of.
The other side of the world does not care how people are used to going about their lives because every corner of the world lives and breathes in its own way. It will turn your own world upside down and break down narrow-minded thinking. Not to say the world is an uncaring place, but rather people have to change in order to survive their environment.
When people are immersed in a different culture, they are led to open their minds and ultimately are more prone to be accepting of others’ views, beliefs, and opinions. There is never one “right” answer when out in a new environment, so traveling can improve people’s problem solving and creativity skills. Our brains are shackled by familiar routines, therefore choosing efficiency over creativity while traveling teaches to embrace change and accept uncertainty.
Not only can travel help maintain a child-like wonder in new experiences, but it also slows us down and gives us a break from our fast-paced lives. It allows us time to heal while reducing stress and helps us to regain our enthusiasm for life. It expands our awareness of other cultures and broadens our sense of diversity while also building our knowledge
Finally, travel humbles the soul. So often we get caught up in our every day lives with all of the seemingly critical problems, but when surrounded by an entirely different environment, seeing how other people live can allow us to appreciate our lives and culture. Opening up the mind to see the world from others’ point of view is a key skill to have in life. Traveling and adventure make you feel alive.
Experiences are priceless gems that we collect over the course of our lives and the stories we tell from those adventures are ones that never leave. Travel keeps the mind in a state of awareness and the heart at a state of joy and excitement and even when we go back home, the memories of those adventures stay in our hearts.
The world can teach you so much about other people and cultures, and mostly importantly, about yourself. You just have to let it.