We all know the stereotype, and we often have a friend just like it. We’re talking about the undergraduate who takes a gap year before they head into the trenches of their academic pursuit of achievement. The friend who only talks about how interesting and perceptively challenging their foray abroad was. For those who haven’t taken a gap year, or an extended holiday before their academic career begins or continues, this might seem annoying or frankly unnecessary to talk about all the time. However, there are always two ways to look at something, and in this case the excitement of the person who has experienced the new adventure is arguably truer.
Life is only understood by those who challenge their comfort zones well. If you’ve been raised in a relatively sheltered environment, such as a loving family home which you haven’t gone outside the borders of to an interesting degree, then taking one of these holidays could be just the ticket you need. You could take a profoundly cultural holiday, such as walking the Spanish Camino De Santiago to experience the integrity and belief of those taking a pilgrimage to monasteries in centuries past, sampling the local culture and food the entire way. You could find Hong Kong North Point hotel best rates and spend your time meeting giant panda’s or traveling up to the famous peak overlooking the city.
Still not convinced? Here’s what you could be experiencing:
Travelling Challenges Your Worldview
It’s very easy to form your identity without truly knowing about the environment around you, let alone the world around you. No matter what country you hail from, you are in the foremost and final analysis a citizen of Earth. Understanding how separate cultures work and what the cultural attitudes are can be found in textbooks or in forum posts, but the only way you’ll truly KNOW is to experience it yourself.
This gives you the opportunity to see the aspects of a city which are less easy to digest through words and must be seen in person. Doing so will expand your understanding of how societies can interconnect, and it’ll inform your traveling bug to expand your knowledge in future. Who knows, you may find the place you hope to live one day after your career is established.
Traveling Can Be Cheap
There’s no reason why traveling should cost you over the odds. There are many ways to overcome intense costs and explore cultures on the cheap. Your ability to acquire a passport and tickets are costs which aren’t negotiable, but how you travel and rest in a country is subject to simply finding the best deal. For student travelers, hostels are always the best method of saving money. Backpacking can save you the costs of traveling heavy. If you really need to and if the country you’re in allows, finding a part time job at the location you’re at can sustain your travel costs while you explore the environment. There’s arguably no better way to understand a people than to work with them, so long as you make sure the language barrier is overcome through study of its basics.
Over time, you will build a wealth of instinctual understanding which will inform your future trips, and vice versa. As the travel bug bites you, you will have formed a hobby before University which has genuinely made you a better and more worldly person. So what are you waiting for?