“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

Just soakin’ up France

Get out there and see the world! Seriously, there is so much to see – and more importantly, to learn.

Some of the biggest issues we find in the world stem from a lack of cultural understanding. Often times, when another culture or way of life is so different from our own, it can be hard to accept those differences. Culturally, what is “right” and what is “wrong” isn’t always clear, and as humans I think we naturally have a desire to decide between the two.

So yeah, practicing a certain religion or eating bugs might be kind of weird, but in some places and to some people, that’s totally normal – a delicacy even (at least, for the eating bugs part).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from traveling, it’s not to take these kinds of opportunities for granted. Soak it all up. Whether it’s a family vacation or a service trip, a semester abroad or a drive to an unfamiliar place, take a moment to think about what you’re doing, what you’re seeing.

Obviously there are some limitations to traveling. Flying across the globe doesn’t exactly come cheap, and being totally out of your comfort zone can be a real challenge. But no matter how far you go – even just within the U.S.! – seeing life in a different place is key to developing a greater perspective of life on Earth, as well as a sense of empathy for all people. Any little step towards gaining a better understanding of the world we live in and the people who live on it can help make it a better place.


6 thoughts on ““I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

  1. Traveling can truly open your eyes up to how large this world really is, and I also think it is important to expand your horizons. People would be more accepting and understanding if they experienced first hand other cultures and the way other people live. I love to travel and have truly found a passion in exploring new places and things during my semester abroad. That being said and as you mentioned, this is not a cheap hobby that most people can afford. Maybe we should offer cheaper travel (although that would come at other costs) so that more people are able to see the world.

  2. I love the picture! I remember it well. And I think the lessons you learn while abroad – either for business or studies or pleasure – allow you to learn not only about the culture in which you immerse yourself but also about who you are as a person! As Jenna mentioned above, traveling is not cheap – but it’s totally worth it!

  3. I could not agree more. I spent last spring traveling completely around the world on Semester at Sea and saw 11 countries on the way. It was the most eye opening and meaningful experience I’ve ever had. Experiencing 11 different cultures gave me opportunities that I never dreamed of, from spending a night on a homestay in an indigenous village in Ghana to attending a cremation ceremony on the Varanasi Ghats in India to staying in a Ryokan in Japan. The most important thing SAS taught me was that traveling and experiencing the world is the most valuable way to learn.

  4. SO TRUE. Before I even started thinking about going abroad, my mom told me that I didn’t even really have an option. She went abroad when she was in college, so she understood first hand how important it is for a person (young adult especially) to travel and see the world. In my opinion, traveling is something that truly helps a person grow and develop who they are. Completely immersing yourself in another culture is a great way for to turn the focus back on yourself and figure who you are.

  5. I totally agree with this and thought about writing about this myself. I backpacked after my sophmore year and it was the best experience I have ever had. It really opens your mind to be a part of a different culture.

  6. IS there a way to make travel more accessible? If we believe it has all thee good benefits, is there way to expand it?

    There are some home swapping networks out there that allow people to travel. Maybe that can keep costs lower.

    Travel and food are also the biggies…

    I can’t believe how expensive rail travel in Europe has become.

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