Most individuals, when asked about their plans and goals for life come up with travel being a major aim on their bucket list. With modernisation and globalisation, along with the ease of access, travelling has become possible for a substantial part of society. However, this need for travel goes beyond the urge for adventures and experiences that are not mundane.
As we travel we come across cultures and lifestyles different from our own and this intermingling of knowledge generates social education. We realise that life exists beyond our own selves and immediate worlds. This realisation of the world being larger than and different from our daily experiences is humbling and teaches us to look past the boundaries confined by the self and social groups we tend to associate ourselves with.
Education about cultural differences broadens our view on society and humanity
Education about cultural differences broadens our view on society and humanity, allowing us to look at the vibrant cultures, nations and people from a different perspective. They highlight our different histories and struggles, yet bind us all by the common thread of humanity. We learn about other ways of living and sustaining different hardships and lifestyles and other such glimpses of life, up close and personal.
When one travels be it alone or with a group of people they are bound to come across like-minded travellers as well as locals from a vast range of backgrounds and life experiences. The communication exchange between these two entities lead to an education about socio-cultural experiences which could never fully be imparted from educational institutions.
Cesare Pavese said “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” Travel often requires one to step out of their comfort zone, in territories uncharted, teaching one the basic skills of survival.
The further one travels from home, the more one learns about the mannerisms of basic survival and adjustment to various situations, subject to the environment and people. The geographical and physical challenges of the different terrains, altitudes and climatic zones makes one realise that survival in fact requires the bare minimum, and the beauty and surreal experiences gained through travel weigh more than the materialistic pleasures of life.
Travel experiences highlight the different aspects of one’s own personality
Travel is a great mode for self-discovery. Travel experiences highlight the different aspects of one’s own personality. We learn about the way we function and how easily we adapt to the different scenarios of life.
Travel experiences such as attending workshops and classes local to the destination, participating in skill based and adventurous activities, can be an interesting way of learning something new and gaining or enhancing skills one otherwise would never have thought of. The different conversations with people and relationships formed as a result of this creates a sense of community, bringing together people from different backgrounds under one roof.
Through travel we form an inherent connection with the place itself
Travel is a give-and-take process. Of course, on one hand, we do learn from it and gain positive life-enhancing experiences; but travel also involves giving back to the place and community one has visited. Aside from the connections and contacts created through travel, we also need to understand that through travel we form an inherent connection with the place itself. It has generated learning and euphoria and so, it is imperative that we give back the same sense of joy.
Getting involved with the locals and volunteering in these communities are great ways to get closer to assimilating with their cultures as it forms a deep connection to the place, alongside giving back to the society.
Travel is a fundamental shift from the mundane causing moments of euphoria along with projecting life and human heritage
With sustainable travel gaining more importance it is essential that tourists respect the land they are stepping on. This can be done through use of sustainable products and basic waste management such as reusing water bottles. This will avoid causing waste pollution, helping the locals and government keep in check the environmental and economic overload caused as a result of tourism. This is especially important in places where accessibility is difficult and effective sustainability is yet to be implemented.
As such, travel is a fundamental shift from the mundane causing moments of euphoria along with projecting life and human heritage.