Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Benefits of Travel

I have always put traveling on the top of my priorities list. Whether it was visiting for a week or moving across the globe, I have always done everything in my power to find the time and means to explore. At first I traveled for thrill and the wonder, the discovery and beauty. As I did this however, I have discovered the benefits of travel that may not openly present themselves. There is nothing quite like it. 
  • Exposure to Cultures
    • You learn to appreciate and be comfortable with other cultures. Not only that, you learn to embrace them and somehow make them a part of yourself. There is such a huge understanding of others that comes from understanding their culture.
  • Appreciation for your Circumstances
    • Nothing will make you feel blessed more than living in the suburbs in a third world country... or trying to go pee in a squatter... or sleeping months on end in a bug infested bed. We take so much for granted and it's important to put your life into perspective and appreciate what you have been given. 
Cajamarca, Peru

  • Understanding of Other Opinions
    • I feel that you learn to accept and more understand other's values, lifestyles and opinions as you witness first hand their lives and where they are coming from. And with that understanding you learn that we are all of value, no matter who we are.
  • A Love for Others
    • When you learn to understand a person or people and see their circumstances, you can't help but love who they are.
South Africa

  • Discovering Yourself
    • It wasn't until my last semester of college when I lived in Peru, that I realized I wanted to be a teacher. I came home, graduated in a different field and applied for a Masters in Education. I discovered my true passion in life as I interacted and worked with these amazing children. They helped me discover myself more than anyone back home ever had done before. 
Puylucana, Peru

  • Discovering Those Before You
    • Traveling gives you an opportunity to learn first hand the life of those from the past. You can feel connected to your ancestors or feel a love for the ancestry of other people. There is a connection so strong and irreplaceable to those before you.
Eilean Donan, Scotland

  • Respect for Other's Struggles
    • When I lived in Germany, I had to face the struggles of being a citizen of a country and not speaking the native language. I couldn't believe how difficult and how belittling that experience was. Coming from a place rich in Hispanic immigrants I immediately felt a strong need to learn Spanish. There is nothing comparable to being a foreigner in the place you live, and if I could help someone else feel more comfortable, or to help them learn, I realized what I needed to do. 
Shanghai, China

  • Building Incomparable Friendships
    • Nothing will build a friendship faster than travel. It doesn't matter if you're together for a couple weeks or a year, I will always feel a strong bond to those I have traveled with or met while traveling. Now in marriage, I can't think of a better way to grow closer and strengthen our relationship. 
Prague, Czech Republic
Roatan, Honduras

  • Rich Experiences
    • What else can I add to this? These are moments you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life. I am building a legacy through my actions and my experiences, I want them to be good ones. 
Machu Picchu, Peru

  • Spirituality
    • I have never been more dependent on God than traveling by myself in a foreign and maybe scary country. I have never felt more connected to my spirituality than taking in God's creations through the entire world and seeing the beauty that He created. And I have never felt more connected to my church than seeing it unwavering and indifferent in every country I have been to. Feeling the spirit, all the same, through languages I don't even understand. And watching it touch the lives of those with completely different lifestyles and circumstances than my own. 
    • There is also something to be said about learning and exploring religions throughout the world. They make their mark on your beliefs and how you grow spiritually as well. 
  • Time for Relaxation or Leisure
    • No doubt that traveling is a time to get away from the stresses that you have at home. It's a time to let go and soak in the new adventure.

  • Time for Charity
    • This can present itself in a variety of ways. In Swaziland, I was able to give a family of 8 some of my old clothes and towels. As simple and insignificant as this sounds I was able to see the relief and joy it brought to their family. In South America I was able to teach at an elementary and provide knowledge in areas the school was lacking. Charity does not need to be a large act, but it can make a difference all the same. Usually you are doing more for yourself than you will every do for anyone you serve. 
Nhlangano, Swaziland

  • First Hand Learning
    • There is nothing comparable to learning a language submersed in it. There is also no greater respect that can be gained for History than experiencing it first hand. 
Auschwitz, Poland

  • Real World Experience
    • I 100% owe every single job I have ever had to the experiences I have gained through traveling. What made me stand out over every other applicant was the knowledge I had gained through travel and the unique and specific experiences. I got my teaching job because the very cultured and unique teaching I had done in Peru. I was offered a job at my University because of the interactions I had experienced and gained with those of other cultures and nationalities. My life would be completely different today had I not gained these real world experiences through travel. 
  • Appreciation for Art
    • Whether this be painting, sewing, cooking, dancing, architecture, or music. Whatever it may be, every country is rich in artistic history and you learn to love the artistic culture associated with any population. 
Bejing, China

  • The Food.
    • The world is full of amazing cooks. Go out and discover it!

We don't have endless supplies of money. But we save and make it happen. It can be done, and it's so worth it.