A Dozen Reasons why Traveling is the Best Education

There are several methods to acquiring a post-secondary education throughout a lifetime, in addition to traditional college and university routes.  For one, we are blessed to have the option of online education from Athabasca University and numerous other educational institutions that enable us to read and learn from the comfort of our own homes.  For the explorers, there is the liberal education of travel.  Traveling the world is arguably the most enjoyable and mind-broadening schooling available to those lucky enough to afford the ride (or creative enough to find an affordable means no matter what).

Travel gives us the chance to rapidly learn skills and absorb information we cannot in front of our lap tops.  Learning how to organize a travel itinerary on the fly or speak five different languages from home is not the same as doing it while exploring another country.

  1. Living in a different culture gives you first-hand experience of how others on the planet spend their day: unique mealtimes, religious rituals, and much more. Diving in and developing personal understanding of the history, social habits, and motivations and perceptions of another culture provides incredible insights.
  2. You’ll discover how people are portrayed in the news and in the movies greatly contrasts with how they are in real life. Travel opens your mind to the similarities and differences of people in other countries that you may never comprehend otherwise.
  3. If you believe you have a certain ‘type’ of person you like, from girlfriend to study mates, think again. You may find yourself drawn to people of diverse backgrounds and cultures while traveling who enrich your life in ways you never imagined.
  4. Travel imparts life skills, such as independence and patience, under all kinds of circumstances, from delayed flights to rioting locals. You become your own boss and must book accommodations and decide how to fill each day.  Indeed, if you’re shy now, chances are you won’t be after traveling.
  5. The science of nature, climate change, and animals becomes much sharper when you explore new regions of the world.
  6. You’ll discover exotic new foods and flavours, as well as cooking techniques you can take with you.
  7. Reading about historical buildings and landmarks is one thing; touring outside and inside of them provides an astounding new understanding of the past.
  8. Viewing beautiful works of art in a book or magazine is inspiring. Seeing them in brilliant detail before you—there are no words.
  9. Absorbing a new language is much faster when you can practice it daily with the locals.
  10. Travel plucks you out of your comfort zone and drops you straight into chaos, the unexpected, and unfamiliar. Your deepest held beliefs and attitudes will be challenged.  Amazing adventures and spontaneous experiences await which you’re likely to remember the rest of your life.
  11. Connecting with other travellers can lead to new career breaks down the road, unlikely sitting in a classroom.
  12. If you genuinely want to get to know your friends and family, you undoubtedly will under the pressures and challenges of travel. Plus, people tend to talk openly in surprising new ways while away from home.

Whereas a traditional education can turn into a new career, a travel education can also broaden the mind, feed the soul, and lead to new relationships and connections with people of diverse backgrounds.  Travel further nourishes the senses and trains you how to survive wherever you find yourself.  In the words of Saint Augustine: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” A trip abroad can inspire a new way of living in the world that staying where you are cannot.

Education is certainly not confined to a classroom or online setting.  Besides, traveling develops emotional and intellectual intelligence.  Travel and education genuinely go hand and hand.  Combine them both and you’re unstoppable because a curious mind contains no borders.