The "Traveling the World" Dream

Is it me or does almost everyone dream of traveling the world?

Well, at least I do. I dream of being able to travel to every country on planet earth.

For some people, traveling is meant to be an escape from their problems, for others, a trip to reconnect with your significant other or friends/family, a Spring Break vacation, a business trip (I can only dream), and for some, myself included, it is a special way to learn about other cultures and embark on a new adventure.

There was a time when I wanted to be an international representative or ambassador for a worldwide company. I thought that not only would I be working and getting money, but I’d also be traveling to different countries, speaking different languages and, more importantly, I was going to be able to learn about and experience so many other cultures, always learning something new. And don’t get me wrong, I still love those things, but the business part of it… not so much. I do want to travel, but I don't want to do it with the added pressure of having to take care of a company; and if I’m being honest with myself, the travel was the only appealing aspect of this job that I had so desperately wanted.

But Melanie, how would you be able to travel without the money this kind of job offers you? Well, not to further your confusion with my seemingly illogical choice, but this type of job even tends to offer you free flights for business purposes and for your own amusement. So yes, I know I put a lot at stake with my choice, and it was probably a mistake, but here’s the thing, I don't think that running and/or representing a business is my thing.

Instead, I believe “my thing” is teaching others about my culture. And you might be thinking that even teaching won’t allot me the money I’ll need to afford to pay my bills, college loans and travel expenses. And you know what? Maybe you’re right, but what if I get the money and I end up hating the job? Getting to learn about new cultures is all I really care about, and if my job prevents me from doing something that I love, then maybe it isn’t worth it at all.

Ideally, I think that teaching is the way to go because not only would I be teaching about my culture, my language, my people, my music, my history, but I would also have students from different backgrounds who would teach me about their world and how unlike and alike we are. And how this makes us unique is our own ways. I’ll be learning about what it means to be from that culture and pick up a word or two from their language and way of speaking. For me, that really is what it’s all about.

The great thing about cultural study is the fact that I don’t necessarily need to travel; books can offer me much insight as well. Now, if I were to want a real-life experience of a given culture, or was at least fortunate enough to be able to, I’d travel. And I don't have to know of every country on Earth, but I do have a select few that I prioritize and hopefully will be able to visit at least once in my lifetime.