Many people think of travelling as a nice way to get a break from time to time, to relax, get a massage, and take in the scenery. However, there is much more to travelling than pina colada and hammocks. Every place that you visit can be a learning opportunity, thus travelling can really expand your knowledge, understanding and personal skillset. Here are 5 ways that travel can make for a well-rounded education.
Going out to experience what the real world has to offer is essential to doing what you want to do in life. You simply cannot learn everything there is to know inside a classroom. Sure there are plenty of essential curriculum pieces that you can only get by taking the appropriate classes, and a standard school is a right place to start for many. However, there is also a whole lot more that can be learned by going out and doing the research and experimentation yourself.
Just a few things that I’ve learned outside the classroom include:
what you think you need to survive is not always true
you are stronger than what you believe
you should be grateful for what you have
it is important to know what your limits are
your assumptions are not always correct
life can be lived in more than one way
there are more sides to the story than what you may think you know.
These lessons subtly, and sometimes blatantly, present themselves to you when travelling.
A few of the activities that you can take part in to deepen your travelling experience include visiting historical monuments or museums, meeting with the local people, and tasting the native foods. Each of these things will give a different perspective and learning experience in the place you visit.
Next, learning about geography, history, and cultures of other places around the world can be extremely boring when you are sitting in a room, listening to a lecture given by your monotone instructor. However, when you visit the locations that you have previously heard about, you get a completely different understanding. You learn first-hand why the person, place, or thing is important. As you walk around an ancient castle, city, or statue, you can’t help but begin to ask questions. You want to know why, and it becomes important and relevant to you.
Travel is also a great way to learn more about yourself. When living in an environment that you are not comfortable with, your senses are open to much more than what you experience in your everyday life. You get put in situations where you must learn and come up with solutions. For example, what if you get on a bus which you think will take you to where you are staying, and you end up in the wrong town, in the rain, with no one around that speaks your language? What are you going to do in that situation? Can you make it home? Of course, you can, but you will have to get creative. You may also find an interest in food, history, another culture, another sport, of which you hadn’t been aware of previously. While travelling abroad, you are also travelling within as you respond to different experiences.
Whether you are from a small town or a large city, you get comfortable with your surroundings, the people you spend your time with, and the way you live your life. Your perspective can be rather isolated when you don’t go outside of the norm. By forcing yourself to try out new things and travel to unfamiliar locations, you are going to see the world in a different light. You will realise that there is so much more out there than what you are accustomed to.
Lastly, as you explore unfamiliar territory, you have to gain the ability to think fast and make quick decisions. At home, things always happen pretty much the same way. When a conflict arises you are comfortable knowing what actions are going to work and what you should never do to solve the problem. Other cultures and areas in the world are not going to function in the same way. You will be forced to adapt to your surroundings and make tougher decisions than what you are used to. This is good and will make you a more well-equipped individual for whatever circumstances you may find yourself in.
The next time you head out for a holiday, or if you are looking for a way to challenge yourself, consider taking a trip abroad. Visit a country that you are not acquainted with and take in all it has to give you. Go off the beaten path and search the native land and culture. You will be amazed at how much insight you can gain by being on the actual site you have only read about in a book. It will also give you a new appreciation for what you have, and remind you of everything that is important in your life at home.
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