Vacation, staycation, baecation or any variant that ends with the suffix -cation seems like a good idea to me. I know we all adore little breaks that help us get away from the noise of school, work and sometimes home, so let me tell you why traveling is most important to me. I’ll also throw in a few free recaps of my trips over the years to maybe give you some sort of inspiration on where your next travel destination should be set.
I’m not going to lie, I perceive culture across the globe to be a beautiful and almost elusive concept. I also 100 percent believe that you cannot understand a societal, national or regional culture in its entirety without witnessing it firsthand. Let me run an example by you: I’m currently taking French to fulfill a foreign language credit and it’s great. I love using unnecessary vowels demonstrated in the word oiseau (which means bird, also have fun trying to pronounce that) and we get to learn about French culture which is also pretty interesting. To sum up my point, I’ve also been to France and I could never correlate cultural habitudes between literary learning and real-life scenarios if I had not experienced the culture on a firsthand level.
I also feel that if we cumulatively as a society (and country) took a little time to understand the cultures of other people, places and things we’d be a little more respectful, but that’s a rant for another day.
What I’m more expressly trying to say is that you should travel. You should travel as much as you can and as often as money allows. In your 20s or your college years, you’re supposed to be in the golden period of your life, and why not utilize this time to soak up as much experience with the world around you as you can? I’ve practically been all over the place by now and I’m so grateful to have had the experiences I’ve been able to.
At this point I practically live by the motto: Money will return but your time won’t. In 10 years most of us are likely to have kids, full-time jobs and spouses. Let me ask you this: what time will you have for yourself then? Simple answer is practically none. So just travel now and make memories you can pass on to your kids, or just fun stories to highlight boring conversation.
I have favorite travel destinations that are based off of my memories, experiences and just general knowledge I’ve gathered since visiting, whether it be historical or wisdom. I think my favorite places so far have been England, France, Switzerland, New Orleans, Albuquerque and my most recent trip, Chicago. Each of these locations has allowed me to look through a telescope and view the world differently. In foreign countries I was exposed to a multitude of different languages, foods, religions and cultural phenomena, while the locations listed in the States have exhibited different types of Americans. I value all of these learning experiences greatly and I honestly will say they’ve helped shape my views on different things in different ways.
So, pack your bags right now and hitch hike if you have to, (I’m kidding, please do not do that you might actually get murdered or sex trafficked) but just travel. Honestly, you can never get sick of new interactions, places or people, so why not just travel more? I highly recommend going with a group of friends as a safety net, but also so you can get group discounts on hotels, Airbnbs and event tickets. Regardless, go while you’re young and before corporate America sinks its teeth into your hopeful spirit. Safe travels!