Traveling abroad is a valuable experience.
Recently, I traveled to Israel for two weeks. The amount of fun I had is indescribable. What I can say, however, is that I was able to escape reality for a moment. It allowed me to hone in on what makes life worth living: experiences.
I found that I had become so consumed by my everyday life that I had fallen into a routine. Each day, I was doing the exact same thing that I had done days before. My life was starting to feel a little boring and to say the least, a tad bit dreadful. Once I was presented this traveling opportunity, I took advantage of it. The next thing I knew, I was on a plane for 13 hours traveling across the world. Talk about a long, but worthwhile time.
By: Erika Hunter
I hadn’t traveled out of the country before, so you can imagine how excited (and a tad bit nervous I was). But, in traveling around the states, I knew that I desired something different. Something more, farther, and completely outside of what I had ever experienced.
I believe that when you travel abroad, you are subconsciously saying ‘I want to launch into a new normal; I want to experience another way of doing things.”
You might find that traveling within miles of your hometown does this for you. But I encourage you to get out of what is comfortable to seek other opportunities. There’s a cap on the reward you receive when traveling within a few miles’ radius. But you deserve a limitless reward.
Hear me when I say that the reward can be found when traveling abroad. It is a reward like no other. It will leave you wanting more of a certain culture, more unforgettable experiences, and more conversations with people who don’t look, think, or feel like you. It will prompt you to travel to other continents and countries and before you know it, you will have seen the world.
Here are my top 5 reasons why traveling abroad is worth your while.
1. You create your own schedule
When traveling abroad, you get to create your own schedule. If you’re traveling with an organization (like I was), maybe not so much. However, for the most part, you are living a different day-to-day. Instead of the alarm clock going off for work or school, you wake up excited to live out a day full of adventure.
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Adventures come when you experience new cultures. While in Israel, I had been introduced to the Jewish culture. I spent a great deal of time with the Jewish people who had shown me what their everyday life was like. For one thing, they they taught me about the commonly-known Shabbat.
Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath that takes place a few minutes before sunset on Friday evenings until Saturday night.
Aside from the food, this was a liberating and rewarding experience because it was so similar to the Sabbath for Christians and Catholics.
2. It puts a lot into perspective.
While the Jews practiced their weekly ritual of the Shabbat, I was able to dialogue with and learn from them. It not only opened my eyes to the world, but it also helped to put things into perspective. I was able to think about things I wouldn’t otherwise think about, like how similar (and yet so different) we all are from one another. After leaving Israel however, I developed a hunger to learn more about the various cultures of different countries and the ways they operate.
3. It enhances our thought processes.
For some, traveling abroad helps us to escape reality (like it did for me). For others, traveling abroad can actually assist us in thinking more clearly about our everyday life (which it also did for me).
Though much of my time was consumed by exploring Israel, I also thought about my worries and concerns a little. Surprisingly, it was much easier to do while being away from it all. I came back to the States with a plan of action that looked totally different than what it had been for years.
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4. You get to know you…better.
There’s something that happens to you on the inside once you leap into another country. You not only become more courageous, adventurous, and aware of things, but you also develop a better sense of self. Our way of interacting with different cultures and other norms can tell us a great deal about who we are as a person and even our own customs.
5. It can change your entire life.
Traveling abroad can be life-changing for a number of reasons. It was most certainly life-changing for me because it made me thirsty and hungry to experience the world through different lenses. I thoroughly appreciate the value of getting to know people outside of your usual circle, because there’s growth in those experiences that you won’t be able to get anywhere else. It is what makes life worth living.
Besides, we weren’t created to do this life thing on our own or separate from one another. Though cultures are what distinguishes us from one another, we are unified by the fact that we are God’s people.
Thank you, Israel, for that reminder.
What’s one place you’d like to travel to and why? Let us know in the comments below.