What Should You Aim To Get Out Of Traveling?

What Should You Aim To Get Out Of Traveling?

From a weekend away, to a journey around the world...find your travel inspiration.

Traveling is a pastime almost universally loved. Of those I've known who have made time in their lives for travel and vacations, I can't think of a single one who completely hates the experience. From a very young age, my parents encouraged a love of travel and took us to various locations around the US, and later, around the world. To this day, I consider a trip to be of near equal importance to material purchases when considering how to spend my money or time.

But what should your aim be when traveling to a new locale, whether nearby or far abroad? My answer to this is not cut and dry. In fact, the answer should be different for everyone and every place. But it's also important to recognize and discover what is most important to you when traveling, and what you aim to get out of every trip you take, so that you never feel a vacation was wasted or aimless.

One great potential goal for a trip is to learn about a new location, culture or group of people. Vacations, particularly in foreign countries, are incredible opportunities to be immersed completely in a new atmosphere for a few days or a few weeks. No matter how much you read about a place or study it in school, it is a completely different experience to visit, speak to the people who were born there, explore its monuments and sample its cuisine. Immersion at its finest is the chance to visit a place but live like a local.

Another potential goal of travel is relaxation or rejuvenation. At some time or another, everyone experiences stresses or challenges in their personal, economic, social or professional lives. At times, if those challenges get to be too much, where is the harm in splurging on a weekend trip away, or perhaps even a longer trip to a tropical location? As long as you're financially able to do it, a relaxing, recuperating vacation can be an extraordinary thing.

What else should you aim to get from traveling? The possibilities are endless. It could be a trip with friends or family that strengthens connections and creates important memories. Perhaps it's a chance to learn a language or improve language skills. Maybe you're planning to have amazing adventures and tons of thrills, or to meet new people and make connections. No matter what, potentially the most important part is that there is some intention to your next getaway.

And, more importantly, does a getaway even need to mean trekking around the world? Can't a vacation also be heading up to a cabin for a few days, taking a cheap weekend visit to see friends out of state, or just creating a mini vacation in your backyard?

A trip with no purpose and no intention can certainly be as great as any other. But a trip that you enter with a clear intentions (or perhaps a multitude of intentions) can leave you with a greater feeling of purpose and success when that amazing trip comes to an end.

Cover Image Credit: Goingabroad.org

Popular Right Now

Going Home For Spring Break Is Basically Like Going Back In Time

Even the most cookie cutter of towns have their secrets and charms.

Last week was my spring break, and as I scrolled through Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, I saw all my friends and classmates traveling the world. Countless pictures of beach landscapes, boomerangs of historical landmarks and nighttime videos of them dancing in clubs around the world filled my newsfeeds. While I was incredibly jealous to see all of my friends experience different cities and cultures, I found comfort in my own sofa smack in the middle of my living room.

For probably the fifth year in a row, I spent my Spring Break at home. Granted, home is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but my own little suburb is bland and perhaps boring. Nothing really happens there, just gated communities and strip malls. Yet, I had an amazing Spring Break.

When you go home for spring break, there is minimal stress. No need to buy all these outfits, worry about losing your passport, lug luggage around everywhere and learn a new language. All these things are fun, I live for buying new outfits, I love the adrenaline rush that comes with traveling, and learning new languages and cultures is my favorite thing in the world. But spring break is just that, a break.

Stuck in the middle of weeks that are filled to the brim with events, assignments, and exams, I need a week to settle down. I need a week to eat things that aren't cereal and Chick-Fil-A. I need to fall asleep somewhere that isn't the library. For my Spring Break, I want to relax, and so I went home.

At home, I slept in everyday, I didn't stress at all. Not to mention, I got to spend time with my friends and family from home. Perhaps I'm trying to excuse the fact I didn't have any money saved up to travel over spring break, so my Instagram feed suffered. Or maybe, I'm secretly a homebody, and I really enjoyed having a relaxed, stress free spring break.

On the days I did do something other than binge TV in bed, I got to explore the town I've called home for the past 18 years. Sometimes we live somewhere for years, but never actually experience it. Even the most cookie cutter of towns have their secrets and charms. Whether it be the food, the Denny's night life, or the same old get-togethers with the same old friends, our home towns are special.

Going back home for Spring Break is almost like going back in time. At least for me, March was always my favorite time of year. Back home, in March, these beautiful yellow flowers began to bloom everywhere. The trees by the golf course down my block, the trees that lined the basketball courts at my elementary school, and the trees that covered my car in the high school parking lot. They were all ridden in yellow flowers. Spring Break has always been those yellow flowers, and I cant imagine any other Spring Break.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

My Spring Break Trip To New Orleans Taught Me How To Be Vulnerable

I would not trade this trip for anything because it taught me so much about myself and about the amazing city that is New Orleans

Over spring break this year, I went to New Orleans for a service learning project through Alternative Spring Break. This was not just an opportunity for me to travel, but an opportunity to really help a community in need. As many people know, thirteen years ago, New Orleans was greatly affected by Hurricane Katrina. Many people, myself included, have not thought about the devastation this hurricane brought these people in years, but they are still suffering, struggling to rebuild and get back on their feet.

When many people think about New Orleans they think about the French Quarter and how beautiful it is and all the colorful buildings and Bourbon Street, but this area was not even touched by Hurricane Katrina. The real damage that people are still recovering from is in the Lower Ninth Ward, an area most people have never even heard of.

Before Katrina, this area was filled with just as much life and love as the French Quarter, but now it is empty. Houses are few and far between, grass and plants are overgrown, the roads are not in the safest conditions, but no one is talking about this anymore.

America has this huge problem where when something bad happens we talk about it for a week, mourn and pray, then we just stop talking about it like nothing happened, almost, as if we are waiting for something else to happen.

Not to say that there is nothing wrong with mourning and praying with and for these people, but we have to do more. People need to start taking action and make a difference in these struggling communities.

New Orleans is a city filled with the most wonderful and loving people you will ever meet in your life. I am still struggling to find the right words to properly define these people and how amazing they are but no words are good enough for them. They deserve so much more than what they have been given in the last few years for the damage caused by Katrina. Even their mayor said that they have completely recovered which is not true at all. Maybe the middle class, perfect life people have, but the Lower Ninth is fighting every day to get back to what it used to be.

The week I spent in New Orleans on this trip was the best week of my life. Not just because of the nine new best friends I got out of it, or the amazing food, or the travel experience, but for the service, we did in the community. We were assigned to a house called 2438 Tennessee through the St. Bernard Project and were able to help with final touches of the house and installing the flooring. Being able to do something that you know is going to bring someone home is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.

I gained a lot out of this trip and would do it over and over again. Not because it made me feel good, but because it was making the life for an unknown family so much better. It's not bad to get something out of service, most things we do in this life we are going to get something out of it and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I learned a lot about myself and how to be vulnerable and open in any and all situations. And I would not trade this trip for anything because it taught me so much about myself and about the amazing city that is New Orleans.

Cover Image Credit: Shelby Davis

Related Content

Facebook Comments