How important is traveling as a student?

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Photo: College Times

With so many different modes of transportation available to us in the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly easier for young people to travel.

But how important is traveling?

There is an ever-growing want in society for globally minded people and traveling is an important part of becoming educated about the world we live in. Moreover, traveling is exceptionally fun!

As students we all know that there will come a time when we will have to end our transition into adulthood and officially become one. This includes being tied down by a full-time job, rent, bills, car payments and taxes (just to name a few).

Of course, becoming a “real adult” is not all bad, but it doesn’t leave much time to see the world and explore your adventurous side. Which begs the question – If you don’t do It now, will you ever do it?

This past summer I had a taste of traveling as a student for the first time and It was one of the best experiences of my life!

I had already planned to travel to the state of Georgia, USA to visit my boyfriend’s family. However, with my second year of university looming on the metaphorical horizon I felt a greater urge than ever before to head for the literal one and explore more of the beautiful country I was in. So after a week of planning and budgeting we set off on a two-and-a-half-day journey to Grand Canyon National Park.

After living on campus in my first year of university – which was an hour and a half away from my family home, I already considered myself to be a somewhat independent person.

However, after two days of driving across the US, I found myself in the middle of the Arizonan desert with very little money, food and the next petrol station being 60 miles away, which really taught me the meaning of true independence. My family was now over 4,000 miles away and I had no way of communicating with them.

As scary as this sounds, it was a blast! I felt truly independent for the first time and no one could take that away from me. Not to mention the scenery along the way was beyond anything any book or picture could do justice.

So finally, after two and a half days of travel we walked up to the edge of the canyon and looked out on to one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe what I had done, and the sense of achievement was greater than any ‘A’ I had gotten in an exam.

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Photo: Beth McClellan

Looking back now on all I learned from that trip I am filled with happiness and gratefulness that I got the chance to experience all that I did.

This type of experience is also becoming increasing valuable to future employers, as it will set you apart from the crowd and long university summers are the perfect opportunity to travel. As well as showing independence, responsibility and ambition it is also one of the best forms of education you can receive.

You will learn first hand skills along the way and gain far more life experience than you could in any 9am lecture.

You can even find a part-time jobs abroad to fund your travels, for example, some hostels will let you work for your board and food, meaning it doesn’t always have to cost you a fortune.

So I encourage all students to give it a go and do some traveling, experience all the world has to offer and maybe even make some mistakes along the way. Guys, lose your wallet. Girls, break a nail and dare to fail, because I guarantee it will be one of the best things you ever do!

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