The Extensive World of Travel

Remi Ragland, Staff Writer

It is very easy to forget about the world that lies outside of our simple homes. Some choose to explore past these boundaries, while others are persuaded otherwise. Travel opens new horizons and creates connections that unite us as a whole. The benefits of experiencing new places are much greater than of material possessions. People choose to travel or not for different reasons based on their personal perceptions. 

Travel is not easily available for everyone, but if possible, it is a good opportunity to experience other cultures and ways of life. Many travel to escape the struggles of reality, to relax, or to see what other areas of the world have to offer. Sophomore Shelby Runje shares that she enjoys travelling because she likes to get out of normal life. By visiting other places far from your usual lifestyle, you are able to gain a new perspective. Additionally, this “escape” can lead to a decrease in depression. NBC News states, “A study from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women who vacation at least twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress than women who vacation less than once every two years.” It is very common to get caught up in our own lives. The ability to understand that others go through the same struggles and that life continues in other areas can help us avoid a narrow point of view. 

Travel is even reported to make you healthier and more open-minded. Senior Emily Palm says she feels “so much better” when travelling, describing the experience as refreshing and a reset button. Travelling can greatly relieve stress and anxiety levels. The excitement and anticipation of a new trip can last from the planning stage until far after the trip has been completed. This can trigger dopamine levels, providing us with a healthy way to treat our reward  systems. Instead of receiving material or temporary possessions, travel is a great way to improve your mood and gain knowledge and awareness. 

Not everyone has the desire to travel outside of their boundaries. Some feel uncomfortable and frightened at the idea of leaving home and experiencing a place with new people and cultures. Primarily, cost is a big factor. Many do not have the privilege to spend money on new adventures, even if they wish they could prioritize it. During a trip, there are also many unexpected costs that arise. Others are more scared of language barriers and an unfamiliar way of life. Social Studies teacher Rob Spencer shared that he is “very cautious” when travelling and tries to avoid asking for directions or experiencing issues between languages. Travel can also sometimes require extensive transportation methods. Some are discouraged by airplane trips where they may experience increased anxiety. Additionally, some fear the actual experience of a trip. Junior Zach Eastern states that his concerns would include “not having a good time.” Not every adventure is an easy one, and it is scary to think about what could go wrong or disappoint initial expectations. 

Sometimes, being uncomfortable is not such a bad thing. It expands our mental capacity and fills our mind with the perspectives and experiences of other people. In my own experiences, travel has shown me that the world really is not that scary. Everyone is simply trying to make the most out of their life with whatever circumstances they are given. It is even possible for the brain to be “rewired” after travel. Experiencing new languages, thinking about small details, and seeing life from a different view all develop new connections in the brain. This development has a lasting impact far from after a trip is completed. Overall, we can become better people through an improved personality that takes into account the lives of those besides ourselves. Spencer again states that “you learn things about yourself” through how you react to different things and places. Self-improvement is important and can be made possible by exposing ourselves to the world around us. 

It is extremely crucial in our day and age to make deeper connections with humanity beyond surface-level engagement. The ability to understand how others live can truly connect us as a whole. Extensive stereotypes exist about every place in the world, which can be diminished the more we travel to see other cultures first-hand. Nowadays, we sometimes lack the curiosity to visit other places because of the convenience of our phones. It is easy to view other places through pictures and videos and feel as if you already know all you need to. It is important that we continue to be interested and engaged in real-life experiences and places. We are all extremely diverse and live differently, in ways that are not often broadcasted to others. The more we understand each other, the closer we get to becoming a united and thriving humanity.