Essay About Why Is Traveling Good

In high school and college it is likely that you will receive some kind of encouragement to travel, study or work abroad. It may seem like you have a lot going on so you don’t seriously consider these opportunities or maybe you write them off since you plan on traveling later in life. I would encourage traveling at any age, but the earlier you can learn the lessons travel teaches the better.

When you are young you are still finding yourself and preparing for your school and career. The skills and experience you gain from traveling abroad can give you life-long personal benefits as well as a leg up in the professional world.

In high school and college you have the luxury of having flexibility since you can study anywhere in the world and have relatively long study breaks. It is a prime time to take advantage of your freedom and youth.

Top 6 reasons to travel abroad while you are young:

1. You’ll Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

As young people most of us have a pretty established comfort zone. At home with mom and dad, in a community that has known you for probably a good part of your life. You have your established, friends, activities, hangouts and possibly jobs. We become comfortable in these daily roles and the idea of breaking out them can be scary and uncomfortable.

The problem is, you learn the most in uncomfortable, unfamiliar situations. In our daily routines, you know how to act and respond to people and your surroundings. Being in a new place, with different people, who hold different values and go about life differently (or not so differently you may find) strips all that familiarity away.

It can be scary, but once you figure out that you can connect with people despite differences, and you can navigate foreign environments, you become a smarter, more competent individual. Embrace the discomfort. Search for it, because it is helping you grow.

Greenheart Travel volunteer, Danny Scott, with host family in Costa Rica.

2. Traveling Builds Confidence

As you conquer the obstacles of figuring out how to use public transit in a foreign country, or asking for simple things in a grocery store, you are building a confidence and ability to adapt in foreign situations. I remember moving to a country where I spoke little to none of the language.

When I returned home, I moved across the country to a state where I had no family, friends or connections. The prospect of that move may have intimidated me before living abroad, but then I thought to myself, ‘Well, if I can do it abroad in a completely foreign system, I will be just fine in a place where I at least share the language.’

You realize that you CAN do things, despite the obstacles and suddenly the obstacles seem less obstructive and more like welcomed challenges.

Greenheart Travel TEFL student taking in the city of Leon, Nicaragua.

3. You Will Develop Cultural Sensitivity

Being culturally sensitive is key in our globalizing world. It is not enough to say “people from X country are like this.” It is important to look for underlying values that may explain a certain behavior in order to practice cultural sensitivity. A good example is when I was in Spain (especially in the south), where they take a 2-3 hour siesta and lunch in the middle of their work day.

Many people view this cultural norm as the people just being lazy when it really has a lot more to do with the fact that historically Spaniards value family face time. Eating together as a family is more important to them than maximizing work time by scarfing a sandwich down at their desks.

Being aware of cultural values and norms is not only fascinating, but can help us understand international issues and conflicts, or even relate to the cultural norms of a foreign business partner. It is an important skill to be able to shift perspectives and see where someone else is coming from.

Cultural sensitivity will help you with your communication on both business and personal levels.

Greenheart Travel high school student in Spain.

4. You Can Adapt to Globalization

Whether you like it or not, with the internet and social media, we are globalizing quickly. It is not unlikely that you would end up with a job that has you travel for business or take part in conference calls with international business partners. In our globalizing world it is important to be culturally sensitive and it can’t hurt to know a foreign language.

In the business world, having lived abroad can give you a competitive edge. Use the confidence and cultural sensitivity that traveling helps you develop and help it make you successful.

Get work experience teaching English or completing an internship in Thailand.

5. Be Immersed in a Second (or Third) Language

Before I lived abroad I never truly understood the beauty of becoming fluent or even proficient in another language. In the United States we don’t need to know another language, or many would argue that. Once you travel abroad you realize that especially in Europe, almost everyone you meet speaks at least two languages somewhat proficiently.

We in the States have a bit of a disadvantage since geographically we cannot country-hop as easily as Europeans can. This is why traveling, especially for us, is even more important.  I would argue that in the globalizing world it really can only benefit you to speak another language. Not to mention, it opens up a whole new world of people you can now connect with and understand that you would never have gotten the chance to get to know had you never learned their language.

Living abroad is really the best way to learn a new language since you are forced to challenge and practice your skills on a daily basis.

Greenheart Travel students perfect their French language schools at our language camp in Paris.

6. Infinite Opportunities to Network

I have studied and worked abroad and made some incredibly valuable connections. If you are interested in working internationally or even just having a couch to stay on in a country that you love, never underestimate the value of networking wherever you go.

One thing I have learned in my time abroad is that people are generally very friendly and love to talk about their home and culture. This is not always the case, but more than often it is. Making friendships abroad can make this big world seem a little smaller and help you feel more connected wherever you go.

The best advice I can give is to meet as many people on your travels as you can. It will definitely make your time abroad more enjoyable since the locals know best! Plus you never know when these connections will come in handy in the future whether visiting each other for fun or otherwise.

Do you agree or have you traveled abroad as a young person? Share your experience in the comments below! 

Updated on July 18, 2016.


Why travel around the world?

We've compiled a list of the best reasons why everyone should enrich their life with around the world travel. And while we're at it...all these reasons can also be taken as our motivation for doing what we do at AirTreks.


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1. Traveling is easier than you think.

We believe that traveling around the world shouldn’t be hard: it’s actually something everyone should be able to do at least once in their lives. Whether you choose to spend a few years or just a couple months traveling this beautiful planet, it’s important to see what’s out there. It’s up to you to make the dream come true and take the first step. Launch TripPlanner to piece together and price your ideal route. Not sure where to start?  You can always call one of our travel consultants and get some complimentary advice!

2. Travel opens your eyes.

If you’re open and willing, travel will make you an incredibly more well-rounded human being. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it? If you don’t know where to start, check out our Around the World planning guide.

3. Traveling helps you learn who you are.

All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at your feet help you discover who you are in a way that’s only possible on the road.

4. Travel creates meaningful relationships

People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same.

5. Traveling develops skills you didn’t know you had

Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or  crossed a gorge  or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a rural Chinese restaurant.

6. Travel helps you learn new languages

There’s something satisfying about being able to throw around a few words of Greek, knowing how to say thanks in Thai, pulling out that long dormant Spanish to book a room in Santiago, or simply hearing a language you didn’t know existed just a few weeks before.

7. Travel means adventure

Zip-lining over the jungle canopy in Peru, successfully navigating the maze-like streets of Venice, bartering for the best price in the traditional markets of Marrakech, taking a speedboat ride in New Zealand, or hopping in a Land Rover and heading out to watch animals grazing  in Tanzania: these are adventures worth having. People are hardwired for the excitement of adventure and travel may just be the best way to tap into it.

8. Traveling gives you perspective

Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some major blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your grip on reality.

9. Travel helps you move forward

If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, around the world travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. A big trip won’t just ease your transition into the next stage of your life, it’ll give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.

10. Travel is education

Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will.  Fortunately, the school of travel is always taking applications, no entrance exam required.

11. Travel challenges you

Getting your daily latte at the same place and staring at your screen at your nine-to-five every day not nearly interesting enough? Even if you choose to work on the road (and keep staring at the screen), you’ll have to find a new place to drink your latte, and depending on your destination, finding coffee, and foamy milk or a good place to sip them could prove to be a sizeable challenge. Travel is full of moments of joy and challenges. Overcoming the challenges gives you some of the greatest joys of all.

12. Travel shakes things up

It sucks to be stuck in a rut. Everyone knows what that’s like. A big trip can be your perfect solution. Fly around the world, stopping over in all of the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Go ahead and plan your ideal route around the world (it’s easier than you think!)

13. Traveling proves that dreams do come true

You imagined it, daydreamed about it, envisioned it. Guess what? It can be done. Around the world travel is possible, you just have to decide you’re willing to take the first step and start planning your itinerary.  What are you waiting for? We’ve put together some specials to inspire you to live your dream.

14. Travel gives you cool stories

Let’s face it. Even for folks who can’t tell a story, just the words “last year in Mongolia” get you instant party points.  Even when events seem trivial, nostalgia and distance create an irresistible spin that makes mundane things like getting your laundry done in Zanzibar, entertaining. Just don’t be that person and overdo it!

15. Travel is literally food for thought.

You’ll be constantly surprised at the flavors the world has to offer.  The way people in other cultures and countries prepare food, and break bread together (not that all cultures even eat bread) will astound you.

16. Travel gives you a sense of accomplishment

If you’re the kind of person that dreams big, you’re probably one to reach for new challenges. Finishing a trip gives you the satisfaction that you were able make a goal to travel and  accomplish what you set out to do–see the world.

17. Traveling for the hell of it

Why travel? Because you can. Because you want to. Because it beats the alternative (staying home). Why not pick up your tickets and get the ball rolling!

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