The Gift Of Travel

The Gift Of Travel

Everyone deserves the gift of travel

There is nothing quite comparable to traveling. People of all different ages, ethnicities, and genders, all in one place. A mixture of first-time tourists, the annual visitors, and that country's citizens all buzzing about in one area.

Some travel for their job, to visit loved ones, or just for vacation. Whatever reason convinced them to hop on that plane, their experience is sure to be original each time. Whether it’s the same city they went to last week, or a brand new country they’ve never been to.

Traveling gives people the choice to change the way they live their life. It shakes things up and changes your perspective completely on yourself and on others.

When a person becomes immersed in a brand new culture, it changes their perspective on their own. The obvious barrier between the two is often language. You can gain the first-hand experience with this by traveling to new cities and countries such as Paris, France or Barcelona, Spain.

The language of Paris is predominantly French, and the city of Barcelona is filled with Spanish speakers. When you know very little of either, daily life gets a lot more complicated. This can instill a new type of panic inside you because maybe you couldn’t read the cafe menus, work out the maps, or communicate with the locals.

Don’t worry, you can quickly learn the simple phrases, most importantly, “Parlez-vous Anglais?”: Do you speak English? You may also learn that when visiting a new country, it shows respect to at least make an effort to speak in their language, even if it is to just ask if they know any English.

Some did and some did not, and you eventually will learn how to work the metro map in French after getting lost once or twice. This will give you a new appreciation for language, especially if you have never gone somewhere with people who didn’t speak your own, and you may start to respect the art of how different each one is. Just think, if you had never visited these new places, you never would have gained this new appreciation or found a sense of humility.

People often become so wrapped up in their own daily routine; working, eating, sleeping, and living the same life every day.

Traveling to a new environment and seeing that there are people living completely different lives and having their own unique experiences is extremely humbling. We often forget to pay attention and become self-absorbed, oblivious to how much more is out there.

The world is this great, giant place and as individuals, we are only a very, very small part of it. After feeling this humility overcome me and many others, it will stick with us when returning home and for the rest of our lives.

People learn a new appreciation for the word ‘home’ and what it really means. As soon as they arrive at a new place, they automatically start comparing it to their native country, whether those are positives or negatives, and gain a new perspective on how things work at home compared to this new temporary home.

People learn how to live and conform to the new countries ‘norms’ and social orders, even if it is just for a few days. A person can never truly know what it is to be a citizen of their native country without experiencing it from a distance, and this is most successfully achieved through travel.

Not only do people gain a new perspective and a humbling experience, they gain brand new life experience. They get to step out of their comfort zone and meet new people and try brand new things. People get to enjoy everything life has given them and gain a new appreciation for everything they are able to experience as a human on this earth.

New adventures and new stories to tell, new things to try, and a completely different way of living.

It’s like getting to swap places with a citizen from that country. It gives people the chance to hop into these new people’s shoes and learn everything they can in the time they’re given about who it is to be French or Spanish or Turkish, etc. They can look back at this part of their life and think that this is just one of the many versions of the person they are today. They can say to themselves that they expanded their horizons of the world and all the people living in it.

Overall, every person should be given the gift of travel. Everyone should get out at least once to experience a brand new culture. In time overseas, you learn so many new things about other people, but especially about yourself.

You can find how much you enjoy learning about the ways others live and learning how to adapt to a new environment other than your own. Traveling is a life changing experience, and it teaches people how to appreciate everything they have and everything they could do to be a better person for not only themselves, but to benefit the rest of the world.

Cover Image Credit: Cambre Codington

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4 Breakfast Spots Near The University of Kentucky That Will Actually Get You Out Of Bed In The Morning

These places will satisfy all of your breakfast cravings.


If you're a breakfast foodie like I am, you know that is an absolute priority to find the most popular breakfast spots despite the city you may be in. You don't want to visit the touristy and basic restaurants that everyone else goes to, but instead, you are determined to uncover the locations that are the best of the best. Most foodies will go to great lengths to discover these places. As a University of Kentucky student and major foodie, I have searched all over Lexington to find my favorite places to visit on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This took my entire first semester and many trips to the ATM, but today, I am now blessed to say that I am a regular at all 4 of these incredible breakfast spots.

1. The Great Bagel

The Great Bagel is one of my all-time favorite restaurants to visit on Sunday mornings. The restaurant offers a variety of bagel sandwiches and freshly squeezed orange juice, and it makes for the perfect early morning start to a day filled with homework or relaxation.

2. Chocolate Holler

Though not a true restaurant, Chocolate Holler is one of the most popular coffee shops near the University of Kentucky. Because it is only a 3-minute drive from campus, Chocolate Holler is always buzzing with UK students who come to socialize or study. The coffee shop is most well known for its chocolaty drinks and the music is great there, too!

3. Stir Krazy

Stir Krazy is a local smoothie bar down the street that serves protein shakes, smoothies, and tea. Though It only consists of these three beverages, the shakes at Stir Krazy are enough to fill you up for breakfast or lunch. Each shake or smoothies range from 200 to 250 calories and serves as the perfect energizer before a workout or a filling recovery drink after a workout.

4. La Madeleine

La Madeleine is a French breakfast and lunch cafe conveniently located on campus (and only a 30-second walk from my dorm). Their breakfast is served all day long and their croissants are to die for. I highly recommend building your own omelet for the most fulfilling experience. Not to mention, their iced caramel macchiatos are a great refresher on the side.

No matter which city, state, or country I am currently in, I make it my mission to eat as a local would. In Lexington, Kentucky, these four breakfast spots are guaranteed provide you with a plethora of different types of food to get you through even the worst cases of morning hunger. Though these places are my current favorites, I am now looking forward to containing the search for more breakfast restaurants, cafes, and juice bars throughout my next four years in this city.

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4 Ways To Be Present While Traveling

The intangible, yet most important, part of traveling.


In the summer of 2017 I left the country for the first time. I spent two weeks on the island of Java in the country of Indonesia, and I fell in love with the new-ness of culture, people, language, and food in a way that I didn't previously believe was possible. I have fallen in love with every place I've visited so far, and each country and city has taught me something different. Each one has taught me to love a new location, to be okay with a new bed (if there is one), and to eat what's given to you (no matter how strange).

Don't get me wrong, I love where I live here in Missouri, I love being in a comfortable home, and I'm a picky eater, but the adrenaline rush of being in complete oblivion of a place unknown to me is so addicting. Since my trip to Indonesia I have also traveled to England, France, and Jordan. All are beautiful in their own way, and I don't have a favorite (please don't ask me to pick). My tips about immersion will all be based on my first trip – to Indonesia. These five tips on how to truly be present in a place you're traveling to are not about things you can buy, or tours you pay for, or even the luxury of places you stay, but instead are focused on the intangible things such as friendships, language, and change of the heart.

1. Stay a while.

No one is asking you to stay forever, but spend enough time in one place that you are able to make a friend. It could be the barista at the coffee shop you go to, or someone at the park, but at least a week is enough time to make this happen. One week will allow you to see the way the local people live, as well as give you time to see all that there is to see in your travel destination.
I stayed for two weeks in Indonesia, and volunteered at an English Center where I made friends that I will have for a lifetime. I was able to go on gelato dates with my new friends, and still have time to see a volcano, go on a float trip, and conquer my fear of heights (kind of) by jumping off of a 35-40 foot cliff into water. Anything is possible to explore if you stay long enough.

2. Find the little things.

This is when knowing local people comes in handy. Your new local friends will suggest the best places to eat, tour, take pictures of, and where the best local coffee shops are. Don't fall into the trap of your own imagination or the trap your own taste buds, step outside of yourself and live like a local.
On the island of Java there is bound to be great coffee (I mean…there has to be, right?) and some of the best coffee I found was actually in my hotel. None of the "chain" coffees came close to the taste of the tiny espresso-sized mugs of coffee I got at the hotel's breakfast.

3. It's not about you.

You're soaking in a new experience, not being your own experience. So many times I see travelers and friends leave the country expecting to change the world with their presence, but they're not letting their presence be changed by the world. When you travel to your next location, look for ways you can be educated about the place you're in, listen to your new friends and strangers, and find every excuse to spend the most time outside of your hotel room.

4. Rest.

You aren't going to remember your trip if your mind isn't rested enough to store more memories. Long flights and travel wear people out very quickly, and your excursions aren't going to be as exciting if you're not awake to remember them. However, if you need to adjust to a large time difference, don't go to bed until 8 pm the first day that you're there. That will allow your body to readjust to the time zone quicker so you'll be more rested for the days ahead.

Wherever you're going, I hope you learn the most you can and that you immerse yourself into a beautiful culture. Even if you don't understand it at first, allow yourself to be open to differences. Stop comparing your destination to "what's back home" and just let yourself be! Travel is meant to be an addition to your cultural portfolio, not a comparison. I hope these tips help you to have a better understanding of how to venture into a new culture. Have a great trip!

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