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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Over spring break, I traveled with the Grand Canyon University Honors College to Italy. That’s right. Italy. I knew no one on the trip starting out – and that was a cause of pretty extreme anxiety going into it. All I knew was I wanted to go.

Throughout my life, I have always dreamed of travel. The idea of visiting new places, meeting new people, trying new food, and engaging in new cultures sounded so cool – I knew at some point I would have to do it. Until a few weeks ago, I had never been outside North America, and had certainly never traveled that far away from the United States! Now, I can officially say I have been to Italy – my dream country. While I was there, I visited three major cities: Rome, Florence, and Venice. Each city was very different, and they each had such unique experiences and sights. Italy is known for its food, history, and art – and I consumed as much as I could of all three. From pizza to pasta, the Colosseum to Doge’s Palace, Michelangelo’s David, and the Sistine Chapel, if I could experience it, I did.

My traveling companions and I spent roughly 2-3 days in each city and saw as many sights as we could. While three days of museums, galleries, and historical sites may sound boring or long to some, to us it was nowhere near enough time. Even so, I came away from the trip feeling well-versed in Roman history, Italian art, food, and maybe even more fun – transportation. If it was a transportation system in Italy, we used it. Planes, cars, buses, trains (and subways), and even several types of boats – we had so much fun using the public and private transportation Italy has to offer.

Even though it was always my dream to travel to Italy (and many other places), I couldn’t ever say exactly why travel was such a wonderful thing. Now, after spending a week in Italy, I can confidently say I know why people travel. Experiencing cultures outside of the U.S. is incredibly important – it expands your worldview, encourages you to view the world through other people’s lens, and reminds you that just because it’s the way you do that doesn’t mean that it’s the only way (or even the correct way). Travel broadens your mind – and your heart as well. Even though I couldn’t speak perfect Italian (ciao, grazie, and arrivederci are about all I’ve got!), I was able to see the kindness and care of others through actions and expressions, even if not in words.

Traveling with fellow students – ones I didn’t know before the trip at all – was also fun and enlightening, it is interesting to see the way people bond in these sorts of situations, we were strangers before the trip, but after spending a week with each other (24/7 at that) we built such close bonds.

There are many reasons to travel, and not everybody’s reasons look the same. That is okay – because when you travel, you don’t just get one thing out of it. Traveling is such a well-rounded experience, that even when things don’t go perfectly to plan (bags getting lost and canceled flights, among other potential issues) you can still get something out of it and learn from it. Plus, it makes for a fun and adventurous story. So, I encourage you – from one student to another – even if you don’t know anyone to travel with, put yourself out there and go anyway. It is 100% worth it. I promise.

Amelia Miller is a Senior at Grand Canyon University studying Professional Writing with a double minor in Literature and Communications. When she’s not curled up with a book or hunched over a laptop or notebook writing, Amelia can be found outside working in the garden, or going on a hike. Being from Colorado, the connection with nature is grounding and can serve as creative inspiration – but mostly it’s just fun. She can also be found in the kitchen, trying out new recipes or attempting to prove to her friends that vegetarian cooking can in fact be good.