Traveling should be an investment to yourself 

Traveling is the best way to experience new things. A big benefit of traveling is that you get to learn a lot and get to know people from different backgrounds. Illustration by Kaitlyn Tran/The Daily Campus

Every day is a routine we must follow; this Friday may not be that different than the Friday two weeks later. Most of the time this is the case, especially when you are a college student with a curriculum to follow. While most of us like the feeling of stability in our lives and how most things are in order, we tend to get this slight feeling that we are missing out on something. For me, this feeling comes a few weeks into the academic year and it’s difficult to ignore. I have tried many methods like trying out a new series on Netflix or trying out a new menu at our favorite nearby restaurant. Nonetheless, the most effective way to experience the climax of intensive learning is through travel.    Ills

Exploring unfamiliar places and surrounding myself with different people and sceneries is an important process we must all go through while we are students. I think the biggest benefit of traveling is that we get to learn a lot and get to know people from different backgrounds. Although college itself has many different characters, we can meet a much more diverse group of people outside school. Especially when traveling in a group or staying at a hostel, you can spark conversations with a variety of people living different lives with different purposes. For example, once I spoke with a traveler from Spain who works as a freelance French translator and another person who just quit her job working in the fashion industry. If I have never explored a new destination out of school, it would have been harder to get to know people in the real workplace and hear about their genuine lifestyle. I used to be fooled by the glamorous image of the fashion industry. Fortunately, by encountering a fellow traveler and listening to her real experience, the reality hit me hard and I no longer considered it as my career path.    

Also, depending on who we travel with, the experiences we learn can be a turning point in our lives. Traveling alone helps us focus on our emotions in the present and learn about a new aspect of ourselves. In my experiences, once I went to a new art museum and found out that I prefer paintings over sculptures and that walking is my favorite form of transportation. Additionally, traveling with others is a way to get to know each other and tends to reveal our true nature, so be careful about who you are traveling with!   

A lot of college students are in the stage where they feel like they don’t know what to do in the future. We are all trying to figure out what we want to do and what we can do, but at the same time, we are busy with assignments and exams during the school year. I believe that traveling relieves and simultaneously intensifies our thoughts about the future afterwards. Traveling helps focus on our current emotions and makes you think out of the blue. Even the bizarre thought of living in that place forever can help generate possible ideas and hopes for a potential future. Who knows? You might end up looking for a job in your past travel destinations.   

In a realistic perspective, many would hesitate to step outside of their house because of how expensive traveling is. It is true that transportation, lodging and more expenses are pricey for a college student, especially in this economy. However, traveling doesn’t necessarily mean a one-month trip to Europe. You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world and book a luxurious resort. In fact, just going to a nearby place you don’t normally go often also counts as traveling. Wherever you go, as long as it’s not the same lecture room or the same library — as long as it breaks your routine — is worth it. As there is a famous saying “investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” Don’t hesitate to invest in traveling during your four or more years at the University of Connecticut.   

Leave a Reply