This morning I sat down to begin my workday and found Grania’s final speech for her sophomore speech class, opened on the google drive. She presented early this week on how she feels travel is a form of education. With her approval, I thought I would share – this was her draft, her notes, subsequently added to notecards. This wasn’t a final product/document turned in for grading, thus she nor I corrected the grammar.
From a young age I have always loved to travel. Whether it’s going to my aunt’s lake house in Michigan for the weekend or flying across the world to China. I love every type of travel. Traveling is such a great thing that everyone should experience. In the Bible in the book of Sirach chapter 34, verse 9-12 it says “A much-traveled person knows many things; and one with much experience speaks sense – an inexperienced person knows little, whereas with travel one adds to resourcefulness. I have seen much in my travels, and learned more than I could ever say.” Travel has always been an important thing to my family. In 1972 my grandparents moved my dad and his four other siblings to America. After attending Notre Dame my dad and some friends backed-packed around Europe. A few years later he was lucky enough to get the opportunity to teach English in Japan for two years then in 1991 he went to Mongolia and backpacked around China. My parents both urge me to travel every opportunity I get. This summer my mom and I will travel to Nicaragua on a mission trip to serve the poor.
The benefits of traveling at a young age rounds out your education, here are some supporting reasons:
- Traveling brings an awareness of other other cultures and appreciate for what other people value.
- For example – when in Japan it is respectful to take off your shoes, when you walk into someone’s home.
- The knowledge you gain when meeting someone from a different country, forms a cultural awareness that can be used in business, politics and even in our schools.
- Learn to appreciate what others value, doesn’t happen by staying in the safety of your own town/home. Once we gain this appreciation we are supposed to help other people like friends and family become more aware, as well.
2. Traveling brings exposure to the economics, languages and arts of other countries.
- Walking through Paddington Station, I heard multiple languages and learned new currency. Who knew in some areas of the country you have to use money to use a public bathroom. Or in other countries, they don’t use a toilet – the simply squat over a hole.
- Traveling helps you expand your horizons and explore things you have never seen or eaten before, such as Peking Duck or the shaving of the duck’s feet.
- Travel opens mind and opens your heart to cultures and their people and their views.
3. Americans can be very isolated on many world issues such as poverty and oppression.
- Of course there is violence everywhere in the world. But there are other places like third world countries that have much more violence and poverty than we do in America.
- We aren’t able to understand what other countries go though by looking at the T.V. every morning watching to the news. We need to be up close and see it, we need to serve.
4. Travel is a form of education and adds value to our life.
- Travel obviously is a form of leisure and yet it holds enormous educational value.
- Travel develops a sense of confidence, freedom and independence.
- Talking to strangers and meet new people is a great life skill.
- Three of my cousins have studied abroad. My cousin Connor studied in Ireland for a semester and my cousin Molly did the same thing in Rome. My cousin Kaylee did a summer visit to the Orient. Each of them had amazing experiences and they returned home with a new appreciation for other cultures. Each of them have encouraged me to do it in the future.
Traveling at a young age has the ability to expand our minds and 1 mind, 1 person, 1 heart can change our world. When we live in the same town our whole life and travel only inside the United States, it limits the lens for which we look at the world. The lens shapes how we see things in our everyday world. By traveling across the seas and into different countries the lens expands, our views expand. We start to have an open mind and start to think not just about the county we live in but the whole entire world. As Ibn Battuta once said “Traveling. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” This quote really stands out to me. My parents have stories from traveling that i can’t even picture happening in a million years. And I hope to have stories just like that after I travel the world.