Why Traveling is so Important to Me
“I keep revisiting these trips, seeing them in in new lights and finding new applications for them in my everyday life. Travel lays the table for the feast you enjoy sitting still back at home. Stillness is the end point of any trip; it’s the way you convert sights into insights and bring the experience home.” Pico Lyer
This is a little more of a self-reflection post, but I’m sure so many other can relate. As you are reading this I will (hopefully) be in India galavanting around the beaches and filling myself with tons of curries. But why even travel? Why save up such HUGE amounts of money and stress over planning such big excursions when I could be peacefully relaxing at home with a bunch of new clothes instead? Because (this is super corny) my soul thrives off of it.
We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but we made things work and Mom always set aside money for some sort of vacation. Our vacations were never about spending a week at the beach or relaxing by the pool in Florida. No- ours were all about exposure to different places and learning the history of each. We even went through a brief phase where we camped in our pop-up tent at different campground. At the time I wasn’t a huge fan, but I think this is where my love for travel started. We never went anywhere too far, but each place we went I learned a little more about how to travel. I learned how to use a map to figure out where to go next. I learned how nothing really goes to plan. I learned how to just laugh when that happens and move on. I learned that so many places have so much to offer if you just pay attention.
My first big trip was to England, the summer after 8th grade. I went with my family to visit my Dad’s extended family. This trip really opened my eyes to the rest of the word. I had never been to a different country and it was hard to believe that the world was so big and that they were people on the other side of the world that really weren’t that much different from me. England isn’t that much different from America, but it doesn’t take much to realize that there’s a whole world out there to explore.
When I was a senior in high school they were offering a trip to Costa Rica. I thought that this was my golden opportunity to travel again! I would say this is the trip that really gave me the travel bug. I wasn’t with my family, and I had raised the money completely on my own. Costa Rica was a fast- paced trip with us going to a different city every day. It thunderstormed every night and monkeys were always hanging out with us by the pool. I was so proud of myself for making it on this trip and when I came back to America I constantly looked for new places to travel by myself.
3 years later my Dad told me that he was planning on going back to England and wanted me to join. I had been putting chunks of my check into savings and decided to use it for this. He could only stay for 2 weeks and I ended up staying for a whole month and exploring Amsterdam, York, and Scotland all on my own. This was a very important trip for me and actually inspired my only tattoo “adventure” on my arm. I had a rough year the year before and was feeling very low in self confidence. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in my life and I felt like every other person in my life did. When I came back from England I had a new-found confidence that made me realize that my self-worth doesn’t need to be in my GPA or my life plan. I traveled all around Europe on my own and I can do anything I want!
Since this trip I traveled to Cancun with my best friend after graduation, California three times, and Mexico City with my boyfriend. Each of these trips boosts my confidence and somehow just makes me feel better. I can’t even really describe the feeling. I think just seeing how the rest of the country lives give you so much perspective on the rest of your life. You realize there’s no “right way” to live because this entire world does things completely different and it works! The exposure to authentic ethnic food is like no other. And it has made me realize America is wayyyy behind in fashion.
When you’re reading this I’ll be embarking upon my most adventurous trip yet. I have had to harness all of the lessons that I have learned from all of my past travel experiences to plan out this exploration. I had to research how to be safe, the best places to go, which visas to apply to, how to use your phone, travel arrangements from place to place. I would be completely overwhelmed if it wasn’t for the rest of my international trips. I don’t know what I’ll learn from this trip, but I know it will be something great.
I don’t know what I expect you to get out of this post other than just travel. Anywhere and everywhere you can. Meet new people and try new food. Learn about the history. Plan the trip yourself and allow plans to fall through. Figure out how to laugh about it and go with the flow. Learn how it feels to be away from everything that makes you secure at home and for some reason you still feel fine just moving through time. The thing about traveling is that it doesn’t really impact you when you’re there- it changes you when you’re home. It changes your interactions with people and how you see the world. Where will you go next??