The importance of traveling


Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

Traveling is seen as a leisure and can seem a bit unattainable though that does not always have to be the case. With thorough planning, traveling in your twenties is not impossible and we should all take advantage of this time in our lives, a time when we don’t have as many responsibilities holding us down in one place. Here are a few reasons why traveling is important:

Exposure to new cultures and people

When in a different country or city we are immersing ourselves in a culture different from our own. This is important and is one way we become accepting of each other’s differences. Exposure “makes you a more tolerant, open-minded person,” Mark Twain said after traveling the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Never leaving your country of origin or, in some cases, the city you grew up in, leaves no room for growth and at times can keep you close-minded.

Now is the time

As young adults, we don’t have much spare money to spend after bills and rent. However, what we do have a lot of is time. Most of us do not have families who need us present nor do we have spouses we have to coordinate our plans with. We should be spending time getting to know another culture before all those extra responsibilities settle in. Visit Roman ruins or swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Now is the time.

Differences make this world a beautiful place

Lastly, another reason why traveling is so important is learning to embrace those differences between us. Within one community, people tend to be similar and, at times, do not realize how many different cultures and languages are out there. Even learning a new language is beautiful as you learn how others communicate. In a time when cultural differences are seen as a negative thing, it is important to remind ourselves that these differences are not due to biology but are a result of the many communities and cultures established throughout the world. Immersing yourself in these differences by traveling will show you how we are all humans working towards the same end, happiness.

There are many different reasons to travel but what I see as the most important are the cultural differences one immerses themselves in when traveling. Our societies are globalizing and in order to progress, we must too. Living in the melting pot that is America we can be exposed to a variety of cultures though there is a big difference in being exposed to a culture in its country of origin. You become the minority and the feeling of being “the other” is important as you will take this feeling with you everywhere and it will change your perspective on other minorities. Traveling is definitely possible and we should all look to experience it.

Nicte Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @NicteHernandez4 on Twitter.