The Importance of Traveling

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Hannah Webb, Staff Writer

Recently, I traveled to Colorado. Until I went on this trip (which happened to be my Christmas present), it had been almost a year since I had traveled anywhere outside of our great state of Texas. I had forgotten what it means to go somewhere you’ve never been before.

I went through that normal ritual of the drive to the airport, going through security, and finally enduring about an hour wait before the plane took off. The airport was buzzing with people; parents rolling crying children in strollers, trying futilely to calm them down, people strolling alone through the airport, staring straight ahead with their mouths in lines.

Despite all the chaos and the myriad of things to notice in the airport, it wasn’t until I found myself in complete calmness that I had my realization of sorts–in a rental SUV, weaving through the mountains. It was silent except for the subtle rumbling of the car and all I could see for miles were mountains stretching up from the ground.

Having never been to the mountains before, it was like nothing I had ever seen. They were beautiful in a way that’s hard to describe. They towered above everything else in sight, yet the sight of them was comforting. Somehow a reminder that if the world can create things as beautiful as those mountains, the world can work its magic on our own lives as long as we believe it can. It was at the same time a little shove from the world to tell me that I needed to fill my life with as many different experiences as I can.  

So it was in that SUV, that I came to the realization of the role traveling plays in our lives. When we go places we’ve never been before, we have experiences we wouldn’t have anywhere else, and (as I did) we can be given little reminders of what’s truly important in life by connecting with new people and places. In short, traveling somewhere new means a new world of opportunity to learn about yourself and other people.

I understand that traveling is hard sometimes, especially for students like most of you reading this probably are. We don’t have much free time on our hands, or we have a lack of people willing to go with us, and of course money is always a concern. But you don’t have to travel across the country or to a different state or continent to realize the beauty of going new places.

Take going to a local storehouse to help out. Not only does that give you the ability to learn more about the lifestyles of different groups of people, but it allows you to look back on your own life and realize that there are some things about your own life that you could change or that you want to do differently. Or it could even just be as simple as going to a park you’ve never been to before and just sitting outside for a few hours to get away from homework for a change.

As I see it, we have two options as human beings. We can live our lives mundanely, floating through under the radar, not really making anything of it. Or we can take our lives as a gift, and fill them with as many different experiences, people, and life lessons as we can. We can live happily and confidently knowing that we’ve taken every opportunity and let it take us where it may. That’s what I think traveling helps us do–fill our lives as much as we can with all the qualities that make life amazing.