“The world is a book and those who do not travel read one page.” – Saint Augustine
This quote means a lot to me. Not only does it describe my new attitude since having the opportunity to travel, but the person behind the quote is who my hometown is named after. This summer I left the tiny town of St. Augustine to study abroad in Brussels, Belgium.
It never occurred to me how monumental this impact would have on me. Sure, I heard from others that it was “the best experience of your life” and you would “always remember this” but never did I realize the difference it would make in my life.
Always looking for a reason to travel or to see the world? Here they are.
1. There is more to life than what is going on in yours at the moment.
It is hard to conceive that outside of where you live, whether it is a small town or New York City, there is more going on than you can imagine. Even while living happily in Brussels right now there are wars and fights occurring in Eastern Europe. You would never realize this if it was not for traveling and seeing. Throughout Europe you can still see some of the effects that the different wars and communism had on the architecture. It makes you realize how much has occurred already.
2. You learn how to be independent.
While you travel you actually grow up. While some people do speak English you will come to realize that most people do not actually speak English. It is up to YOU to learn how to read train maps, not which stop to get off with the bus, and where are the best places to go and eat. You have to do research before going to places and learn customs. As stressful as this seems it helps you to come out of your shell and become a leader and an organized person.
3. What you see is completely unique.
There is nothing like this in the world for what you are going to see. Every country, language, and sight is completely unique and can never truly be repeated. The beauty that is on Earth is unparalleled to anything else. It does not matter if you have travelled to a location that may be “similar” to it because each different area you see will never be seen anywhere. These different languages and cultures cannot be translated. They can only be understood with being there.
4. You become a great budgeter.
After your first big trip you are extremely happy AND you are already wanting to plan your next great adventure. From traveling and living on a budget you learn how to live cheaply. You learn what the cheaper meals are and how to go about eating especially in different countries. In places like Belgium water can cost your whole meal while in Ireland and the United States water is free. You learn how to adapt when it comes to meals. You also figure cheaper means of travels whether it is taking the tram, bus, or train to get around. After awhile you start to wonder how you spent so much while just living at home.
5. You meet many new people who can change the way you think.
Everywhere you go you will meet someone new. Many times foreigners are very kind and curious about where you are from. If you allow them to talk you can find out a lot about different cultures than you would realize. I just recently learned how to speak some Gaelic from a taxi driver I had in Dublin. You never know the kind of stories you can learn, the best places to go, or even insight into a culture you had no clue about.
There are many other reasons to travel and some may resinate with you more. Whatever your reasons are, GO NOW. Go and see what this world has to offer and make the most of it.