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Traveling can be an art and a source of knowledge that builds “good citizens of the earth” or at least individuals with a decent level of understanding and respecting other cultures. How can traveling be an art and a source of knowledge? A simple answer to this question would be; traveling goes beyond the limits of nationalities, borders, and cultures and provides verifiable “hands-on” experiences from different communities and the world in general.

Traveling Removes stereotypes:

  In the digital age, we are extensively exposed to the media and the internet. We have long been discovering the world through texts book since our early days at school, yet the modern technology is gradually influencing the way through which we see and perceive the world. Namely, we see numerous places, people and other creatures on Tv, on videos and we believe that this is the reality of this particular place or group of people. It is, undeniably, unfortunate as we are exposed to a narrow and single facade of reality. Consequently, we consciously and unconsciously built restricted frames of how the external world looks like. As an example, we may erroneously conclude that a particular group of people living a particular country dress odd and specific type of clothes or follow particular hierarchical norms within their societies. Nevertheless, the reality could be quite different. The belief we hold could be for example outdated or merely limited to a particular community. The only way to test our theories and hypotheses is to defy our beliefs and travel. Traveling, accordingly, provides us with “up to date” and exact insights into different cultures, people and remove pre-held stereotypes.

Get yourself out of your comfort zone:

  It is widely believed that traveling builds the personalities of people. This fact is interestingly true as people existentially find out about themselves and the world that surrounds them through traveling and discovering the unknown. When you decide to overcome your fear of being parted from your home and community or feed your curiosity, you step forward to discover who you are in this immense planet. When you travel to different places, interact with new people, you may well start developing a tolerance and acceptance of the others who are different from you. You will, accordingly, learn that there are no universally right or wrong cultures and we are not in a position to judge others beliefs based on our own cultures and beliefs. Namely, there is no room for ethnocentrism; all cultures are important to their social groups and should be respected accordingly. Moreover, traveling provides people with a tangible feel of the world. Namely, when we travel, we construct ourselves within the geography of the place we head to, we find ourselves within a new topography that could feel and smell differently. Traveling allows us to construct ourselves and our identities universally through different places and with different people.

  I may, eventually, assume that traveling is a unique opportunity to build emotionally and culturally competent individuals with rich experiences, cultural, linguistic and personal skills. Apart from building cosmopolitan and culturally competent individuals, traveling increases the awareness of self and others as entities that should coexist, self-esteem and self-knowledge.

Amina Ghezal

Exeter Cornwall

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