Do I Continue Traveling, Knowing The Risks I Could Encounter Along The Way?
Lifestyle

Do I Continue Traveling, Knowing The Risks I Could Encounter Along The Way?

Travel is a window to the world and a journey where you may not know where you will end up.

78
Amanda Brennan

Imagine yourself relaxing on a white sand beach of the Bahamas, the only noise you can hear is the gentle sound of waves washing up to shore. There is not a cloud in the sky and not a kid nearby screaming "mooom!" at the top of his lungs. It is pure, simple relaxation. Escaping the stresses of work at home, learning about new cultures around the world, and telling stories about adventure is something I believe everyone should have the chance to do. The only problem is, there are always negatives to accompany the positives and when it comes to the safety of travel, it throws a red flag towards everyone's radars. Whether it is coming down with "Montezuma's Revenge", experiencing "culture shock", or just not wanting to leave home, there is often something that will hold one back.

Personally, I have enjoyed travel since I was a little kid, but being the cautious person I am, why do I find myself continuing to travel knowing that I will have to break out of the "cautious shell" I have built around myself? I was always scared to leave my mom at school and of hurting myself out on the soccer field, yet the summer of eighth grade you could find me climbing high on beautiful sand dunes at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. I dove deep into this thought by asking myself, "Why do I continue to travel and have the want to travel knowing the risks I could encounter along the way?"

Travel is a window to the world and a journey where you may not know where you will end up. You can make travel what you want, you can make it as big or as small as you want. It allows you to have freedom in life and let go of home for a few days, a few months, maybe even a year. Travel blogger and photographer Amanda Williams believes, "You can trade in whatever is making you unhappy for something different, even if it's just for a little while. A change of scenery is sometimes just what you need to get over boredom or the blues, and being far-removed from a problem or stressor often allows you to look at it through new eyes."

This being one of the opinionated plus-sides of travel, I can relate by remembering my own experiences traveling and how I have felt while exploring a National Park in a new state rather than exploring the same old "tourist traps" in the Chicagoland area. Particularly, in the depths of junior year of high school stress, I felt renewed and refreshed while on spring break with my friends in Disney as well as a Bahamas cruise. Being far away from ACT books and overflowing folders allowed me to eliminate stressors and explore, which travel blogger Amanda Williams considers a positive of travel. I enjoy the feeling of pure freedom after a stressful time, who doesn't?

However, the night before I left for my spring break trip, I was worried and scared. Why? I travel all the time and I love it, I knew my family was in Florida, and I would be seeing them in a few days. I am a "Disney expert", yet I found myself upset while organizing my bags to leave the next day. I had never left the country before, but exploring is my thing and the ocean is my happy place. Why was I scared? Why would I, a travel lover and cautious "mom", resist the opportunity to leave stress behind and learn through a new window of opportunity?

Furthermore, travel risks vary from place to place and country to country. In most cases, you can go on a great trip and come back healthy and refreshed, but that is not always the case. According to NBC News and Joan Hersh, a registered nurse, "One of the biggest problems with foreign travel that we see is that some of these illnesses are so unusual here in the U.S. that, most of the time, physicians aren't even looking for them." When travelers come home after a fun trip and realize the water they drank was unsafe or they got a painful bug bite, the last thing they want to deal with is their regular doctor not knowing the specifics of what to do. An amazing trip can turn painful and it scares people to travel again, leaving them to stay in their comfort zone at home again. However, these illnesses are avoidable, and I continue to travel because I know what to do when I am sick, hence the "mom" nickname my friends and family have given me. Yes, the illnesses caused by travel scare me and may seem to hold me back, but I am and will be, prepared with what to do.

Additionally, I am a visual learner. There is no way I am going to pick up a math concept without seeing a labeled equation on the board. When it comes to travel, you learn visually, not through the pages of a textbook or a computer screen open to Google. The two go hand in hand: you travel to learn and you learn to travel. Instead of being told how to get from one place to another, you pick up a map and figure it out. You learn geography and map reading skills by figuring out where you are using a map, you don't need a textbook for that.

Having seen many of our nation's National Parks, I have found my history classes more enjoyable and easier to understand because I have seen what teachers are talking about. I will never forget my fourth-grade "state project" on Pennsylvania. I loved visiting Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell that previous summer. In fact, when I was little I wanted to move there and work as a park ranger to teach tourists about the history of America. I experienced a new culture when I was in Philadelphia, even with it still being in the United States. There were old cobblestone streets, different restaurants with famous Philly Cheesesteaks, and locals with different personalities--all things you can only experience by traveling.

I travel to learn and I travel to grow. I want to see the world, experience new cultures and meet new people. The thought of travel illnesses and culture shock cross my mind, yes, but I prepare for my adventures to know what to expect while I am away from home. Travel has allowed me to explore new aspects of the earth that I otherwise would not have been able to see if I only stayed within a fifty-mile radius of home or kept my nose deep in a textbook. You can create a home wherever you go as long as you have the right mindset to do so. Bring the right people with you and plan ahead for a fun time. The thought of homesickness or having a bad experience at the airport is risky, but that is a risk I will take in order to continue learning and growing.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

These 11 Face Masks On Etsy Support Small Businesses While Fighting The Spread Of Coronavirus

We're staying safe as states start lifting lockdown guidelines.

I, like most people who have had the luxury of being able to stay at home during this time, haven't spent much time outdoors at all. But when I do brave the great outdoors for a walk or to get to the grocery store, you won't find me without a mask.

My family and I were lucky enough to have family friends who were sewing some and had extras to give to us, but most of my friends and loved ones outside my immediate family have had to order some (or make a makeshift one out of scarves or bandanas).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

13 Reasons We're Using Quarantine As The Ultimate Excuse For Online Shopping This Month

The one thing we haven't distanced from is our bank account.

Throughout quarantine, I've been FaceTiming most of my friends in a full turtleneck or the go-to cozy sweater I keep wrapped around the chair in my room. Either way, I always have tea in my hands to keep myself warm — till this past week.

For most of the country who hasn't had the luck of quarantining in 90-degree weather on their family's lake house or with a backyard pool, things began to change this month. Our favorite shows came out with summer seasons, the sun came out, and we started spending more time outside.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Morgan Wooten To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

Morgan Wooten

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less
HBO Max

If you are a normal person who spends most of their time streaming TV shows, you'll know that "Friends" was taken off Netflix early in 2020. Given that a global pandemic followed shortly after, many diehard fans of the show stuck in quarantine have been experiencing significant Central Perk withdrawal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

How To Interview A Class Of 2020 Graduate

What they've been through is truly unprecedented.

Odyssey

No matter how you want to spin it, the Class of 2020 will be the first class graduating amidst a global pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

By now, it is safe to declare "Outer Banks" on Netflix as THE TV Show of quarantine.

"Tiger King" got out to an early lead, but since, the Pogues and the Kooks have owned pop culture conversations while everyone has been cooped up this spring amidst a global pandemic. And if you are one of the very few people out there in the world that has not heard about "Outer Banks" and or haven't binged it yet, well...

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Spoke To A California ER Doctor About COVID-19, And Y'all, Our Healthcare Workers Know What's Up

In light of what's going on in the world, it's time to get some front-line perspective.

It seems like the only thing I do these days is scroll through social media in a desperate attempt to gain information. My phone has called me out on my screen time more than once, and I just continue to ignore it. You're probably in the same boat — stuck at home, scrolling deeper and deeper into a hole of conspiracy theories and possible "back to normalcy" dates, hungry for information.

While we know that the news is not our mental health's friend these days, getting reliable information is helpful and necessary.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments