The Travel Experience – and to where it leads!
“Traveling is also a verifying process.”
This article had to be written as a reaction to a contribution of an US law professor who discredited traveling as a completely useless activity (Althouse). Without going into greater detail of her argument, in my opinion, she took the wrong side and really traveled the wrong way (high-budget, vacation style) to give a substantial and general judgement about travel. I`ve already shown in other articles (e.g. Travelers Die Happier; Why You Should Travel) why traveling is such a rewarding activity. This is a new attempt to descriptively show that THE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE is like no other.
The Travel Experience
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Clarification of “The Travel Experience”
In this analysis I focused on travels that are:
- Low Budget: Budgets higher than 30 or 40 US Dollars per day allow you to sleep in hotels that look the same all around the world. They allow you to take transportation means that locals can`t afford and they allow you to eat your “favorite food at home” everywhere you are. Lower budgets restrict you to home stays, low-budget hostels or couch surfing. You eat local food with locals in local restaurants. And you stand next to locals in crowded buses or trains. Rewarding contacts with locals and interesting travelers are guaranteed.
- Individual: You organize EVERYTHING yourself. No booked-in-advance tours, no agencies (if possible). Learn to be able to do most things by e.g. being insistent or enduring. You are the master of your travel. You decide. It`s sometimes tough, but this way your social and personal skills will improve most effectively.
- Mid-term: I do not include long-term traveling. Long-term travels bring further benefits, but also drawbacks that differ to the findings displayed in the diagram.
- Solo: If you travel solo, all the effects of a travel experience are intensified. You cannot delegate any responsibilities whatsoever. No work-sharing is possible.
First of all, travel experiences that you make with locals, other travelers and places are simply new experiences. They need to be evaluated and judged. The simplest way is separating them into “positive” and “negative” experiences. And a first critical reflection might already lead you to some valuable information and knowledge gain, either about yourself or about the world around you.
In a second phase (critical reflection) you might start to combine and compare your newly gained information with other sources of information. Discuss your observations with other people. Books, newspapers and magazines are very useful, too. Or even go for some studies at a school or university. Traveling is also a verifying process. And that`s especially the moment when travel experiences lead to something valuable. They make YOU grow, in varies ways:
You not only gain new knowledge, but also verify your preexisting knowledge stock. You understand “things” better because you experienced them directly; you basically incorporated them in your body. You learn to know new ways of living and new perspectives of how to see and approach the world. If you judge them as valuable (note: maybe not as valuable as your own), traveling might influence your personal tolerance level in a “positive” way. Traveling also enables you to work on your skills, no matter if language, social or practical skills. When meeting people outside your regular environment, you also encounter new options how you could live your own life.
Further, what I am also sure about: Traveling the way I depicted above helps not only decreasing an existing fear of contact, but also xenophobia in general.
I might have left out other benefits traveling could have on you. But what I can guarantee you is: Travel experiences are useful, valuable and rewarding at once and therefore you cannot miss them out. Just don`t do it. Explanation mark!
What do you think to where the experience of traveling leads? What are the lessons you have learnt while traveling? How high do you rate the travel experience for a great life?
Greetings from Kyrgyzstan
Thanks for liking or even sharing my experience!