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Ever since starting the Intensive English Program at my university, I try my best to travel every chance I get. The way I define traveling is educational and therapeutic. It is about continuously learning different cultures and just getting to see parts of the world some may only get to read about. There are many advantages that outweigh the disadvantages from traveling, for example, my primary purpose for traveling is to recharge my body and brain. Every once, in a while I need a break from constantly sitting in front a computer screen, calculator in hand, brainstorming and solving engineering problems every day. Every time I arrive to a new place, the new atmosphere makes me feel happy and carefree. If I want to enjoy the feeling of salt water on my feet, I can travel to warmer places with the beach, and traveling to those places also allow me to breathe without worrying about the next assignment. I get to meet new people, experience their culture, and most importantly make new friends.
There are some things that can’t be learnt or taught in a classroom setting, or even from reading the required textbooks. However, traveling helps me better learn and understand the thing that I don’t get from classrooms. I remember going to different club meeting during my freshman and sophomore year, and not having the opportunity to travel as much.
Through traveling, I get to learn practical things like planning the day, managing finances, and time management, as I have to take different modes of transportation based on time and finances. I do price comparisons for ride sharing applications like Uber and Lyft, and also compare other means of travel like trains, busses etc. Traveling has helped me learn all of these essential skills and interestingly, I have navigated many places without having data and only relying on Wi-Fi.
When I stroll through beautiful new cities, I enjoy seeing the traditional and historical landmarks that I have either read or heard about. Places like museums in DC, independence hall in Philadelphia, institutional buildings, or various neighborhoods with art venues, spray paint and stencil graffiti sculptures. Besides that, I also get to walk to the beaches, try the local authentic foods, and the best part is since there are so many food areas, it is very cheap. The more experiences and information I learn from traveling, give me new perspectives on how I view situations or the things around me. Traveling helps me capture memories, and feelings that happen on a day to day basis in my life
My favorite part is just embarking on different types of adventures that I have never done before, and just getting out of my comfort zone no matter how scary it is. You will never know how much you would like an experience until you try it. A great example is I didn’t ride a roller coaster until I was 22 years old because there are none in Timor-Leste, so I tried all kinds of rides with horrifying heights when I went to Hershey amusement park in Pennsylvania. I want to keep the records and have all kinds of stories to tell from the worst and to the best, educational, and some funny memories.
So, my best advice is, take a trip wherever you want to go, hop on the bus, train or the plane. I say this because it has allowed me to learn more about myself and the world we live in. From New York to Florida and to Los Angeles and many other places I have visited. There are no places I have regretted visiting; each city has a story of its own and that is very beautiful to reminisce on. You will never regret a penny spent or second you spend while traveling. As Saint Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” Plan your trip for your next break now. Every mile counts!