Leaving your own four corners and setting out into the world is the best decision you’ll ever make. Here’s why.
Here are the 10 most important reasons for why travel is the best education:
1. Traveling is discovering
Humans; we’re a diverse bunch, happily inhabiting practically every corner of the globe. We’ve all grown up differently and developed individual cultures and traditions, on national and local scales. Moving around the world and travelling to different places means discovering new and beautiful cultures, learning about ancient belief systems and hearing fascinating stories about life in different environments from the people who actually live there.
2. Traveling is exploring
Hike to the very top of mountains to soak in staggering views; wander slowly through winding cobbled streets in search of the best hidden coffee shops; discover ornate architecture and ancient churches. Every single place you travel to will be unique and just waiting to be explored – meaning there’s always a whole host of different memories just waiting to be made.
3. Traveling is feeling
At some point on your travels you’re likely to feel excited, anxious, exhilarated, homesick and delighted. Through the ups and the downs, travelling can be a serious emotional roller coaster – in the best way possible. But, once you’ve experienced traveling and felt that sense of wonder when you step out to explore a new city or place for the first time, your heart and soul will ache for more.
4. Traveling is independence
Travelling is real world experience. This is learning to fly the nest and look after yourself, realising that you can solve problems and survive on your own, and learning to believe that you’re ready for anything life might throw at you. You’re strong, and you’ve got this!
5. Traveling is connecting
Building connections between fellow travellers, study abroad classmates and host families whilst you travel not only enriches your experience, it grows your network. Make the effort to connect with the people around you as you never know what opportunities it might lead to. (Plus, forming ten good friendships across the globe gives you ten more reasons to travel in the future!)
6. Traveling is understanding
When you’ve tucked into tapas with locals in Barcelona, helped protect the turtles that nest on the beaches of Costa Rica or spent a month living in fast-paced New York, you become part of a special club of people who can see the world differently. You’ve experienced things outside of your home environment and you’ve seen that every country and community is unique. You understand that it’s the differences between our lives that make us interesting, but it’s the laughter, the stories and the values that we share that remind us that we’re all still a little bit the same. You get it.
7. Traveling is studying
Study abroad courses are a fantastic way to combine your travels with educational growth, especially if you’re learning a new language. Experts agree that one of the fastest ways to become fluent in a foreign tongue is to move abroad; you learn quickest whilst living immersed in the language.
8. Traveling is communication
You’re used to chatting in your native language, of course, but traveling abroad means learning to really communicate. You’ll learn a new language much faster than in your hometown if you’re speaking to locals every day and you’ll soon pick up ways of communicating using hand gestures, facial expressions, and local colloquialisms too, not just your curriculum vocabulary.
9. Traveling is challenging
It can be intimidating if you’ve not traveled often before or if you’re jetting off to a part of the world which you’ve never been to, but that makes it more rewarding. Set yourself a goal, perhaps of dancing the tango in Buenos Aires or walking underneath the cherry tree blossom in Tokyo, and do your research to figure out how to make that a reality. It’s like a big problem-solving exercise, except abroad and exciting.
10. Traveling is learning
Far from just an opportunity to make academic study an exciting experience, traveling is a fantastic way to learn more about yourself, and living abroad has been proven to create a stronger, healthier sense of self. Often travel experiences allow you to find answers to the age-old questions, ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What do you want to do with your life?’ and help you shape your perfect future.