I believe in Travel

Matt - San luis Obispo, California
Entered on May 7, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Since I was a little boy, travel has enthralled me. The sheer excitement of going somewhere new has been passed down to me from my parents. Whether it was a small trip to a local lake, the east coast, or the Caribbean it was an adventure that I took full advantage of. I was never a child with a video game system, staying inside all day hooked to the TV. I had a desire to explore and find new places. This love for travel has been fed by at least one vacation each year.

Travel has helped me to grow in so many ways. Traveling to different countries immersed me into different cultures. It helped me to see that my way of life is not the only one in the world. I learned that life itself is much bigger than any one person. This scope on life dazzled me and gave me a desire to travel even more. The best thing that travel did for me, however, was that it forced me to be independent in the world. By the time I was 16, I had traveled all over the world, including Europe twice, but every time it was with my parents. I decided that it was finally time for an adventure without them.

That following summer I went on a trip to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, on my own with a girl I was dating. It was truly the first big trip I had voyaged without my parents being involved. I booked plane tickets, train rides, and hostels for us to stay in. The trip demanded that I grow up and problem solve without a parent to guide me. For instance, in Prague I had to find my way to my hostel without the help of anyone who could speak English; of course no taxi knew where it was. Being lost in an Eastern European country will definitely force you to become self-sufficient. In the end, I found my way in Prague, but that journey filled me with a sense of self-reliance, and it made me feel great. From then on I knew traveling would be more than just a hobby; it was a way of life. The following summer I returned to Europe with a friend and visited five new countries. Also that summer I traveled to the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Burning Man art festival.

I learn so many new things when I travel. I have learned that the world is different everywhere I go, and that to be apart of human society is to be apart of something bigger than myself. Most of all, I grew my wings of independency, knowing that I can make it on my own. I want everyone to experience these things and to gain the same enlightenment; that the world is filled with lovely cultures none better than any other. Also for those people who need to spread their wings, travel is a great way to do it. This is why I believe in travel.