11 Reasons Why Traveling Is Magical

11 Reasons Why Traveling Is Magical

Some of the reasons why traveling is so amazing.
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Today, as a 19-year-old college student, one of my life long-term goals is to be able to travel or to have a job that requires me to travel and explore the world. What's surprising, to myself even, is that I didn't always have this desire. As a young child the idea of leaving my town, let alone my country, terrified me. I guess you can say I lived in my own little bubble. I was happy not knowing what was out there, so why risk that and leave? Well, now that I'm older and more experienced, I know all the reasons why that risk is worth taking. These are some of the reasons why traveling is so important and magical.

1. It widens our perspective.

Seeing new places and different people gives us a new look at things. Experiencing the way they do things and the way they live makes us reflect, not only on our life, but on life in general. This can influence our habits or even help us create new ones.

2. It creates new experiences.

Being exposed to situations, people and places we are not used to not only widens our perspective, but it also makes us more experienced. This means that once we return to our everyday life, we are able to use that experience to be better. It also makes us more adaptable to change and makes it easier to overcome obstacles.

3. It helps us break out of our shell.

Traveling forces anyone to step outside their comfort zone. Whether that means trying to speak a new language or talking to people we don't know, it definitely pushes us to be more outgoing.

4. It takes us away from our everyday life.

Everybody needs a break from our stressful lives, and what better way to that than by actually going elsewhere. Some people might call that escaping, I call it a well-deserved vacation.

5. It helps us relax.

Traveling usually goes hand in hand with vacationing, which is very relaxing. Doesn't matter where we go, there is something very magical and therapeutic about being away from home, in a mysterious place, discovering new things.

6. It allows us to create new memories.

This is especially true when traveling with the people we love. Moments spent away from home are truly special, and the memories made can't be recreated. This is why there's nothing better than looking back at pictures and souvenirs from that travel.

7. It forces us to try new things.

This is closely related to making new experiences. Especially when visiting a different country or an exotic place, we are forced to do things we had never even know we could do before. That might mean trying strange, unfamiliar foods or trying some extreme sport. Nevertheless, it makes us more adaptable and open-minded.

8. It helps us make new connections.

By connections, I mean people. Traveling allows us to meet people and make new friends. These aren't any friends, though. They are different because they have a different background and come from a different culture. This means they have a lot to teach us and a lot of things to show us. It might also be useful to keep in contact with these new friends, you know, in case you ever want to go back and visit.

9. It helps us learn about new languages.

I've always been fascinated with languages. Visiting different countries is the perfect way to hear new languages and pick up some words and sayings. Not only is it educational, but it's also a lot of fun and makes us feel in touch with other cultures.

10. It shows us that life is beautiful.

It is when we travel and we discover things we never knew before, that we really understand how beautiful life is and how lucky we are to be alive and have all these wonderful experiences.

11. It proves that we always have something to learn.

Going to unknown places proves that there is always stuff for us to learn and no matter how old we are, there will always be things we don't know. I think this is truly amazing and one of the reasons why life is so amazing. It's so cool that we can keep growing and expanding ourselves. There truly are no limits.

These are only a few of the infinite reasons why traveling is so important and so incredible. I know it can be expensive, but it's like investing money on bettering ourselves. That, to me, is a price worth paying.

Cover Image Credit: Vanessa Raffaele

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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My Future Is Unpredictable And That's Totally Alright

As I prepare for study abroad in Ecuador, I'm going in with no expectations.

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For six months, I had plans to study abroad in the Dominican Republic during the fall semester of junior year. Filling out what seemed like endless applications and paperwork, searching for travel ideas on Pinterest, and writing a class research paper on the DR's relationship with its neighboring island, Haiti, I was prepared to live and learn about Dominican culture hands-on.

Then on the Thursday before Finals Week last spring, I read my email. My study abroad program in the DR had gotten canceled. In the span of 30 seconds, my future had taken a new course. Less than a week later, I was submitting papers to study abroad in a new country where another adventure awaited: Ecuador.

If there's anything I've learned in the past year, it's that life is unpredictable and we can't control it. The future is unknown. But-

Who wants to know exactly what's going to happen in the next few years? I mean, I believe it's good to have a direction, but you don't have to have the entire journey pinpointed straight to the core. You meet people, you get inspired, you see things, you have experiences. And you go from there. (Though, I totally respect people who have clear ambitions and stick with them their entire lives.)

Where I was a year ago was a completely different path than where I find myself today. Last summer, I worked four different internships/jobs in the span of three months. A year ago, I would never have guessed my following summer unfolding with an immersion trip to India, a solo adventure to Taiwan & Hong Kong, and becoming a certified yoga instructor. A year ago, I hadn't met half of my best friends. A year ago, I hadn't seen poverty in a third-world country. A year ago, I wasn't even sure I wanted to major in Environmental Studies.

Just because I don't know what the future holds doesn't mean I can't set goals. I have a destination, an idea of where I'm headed and where I want to go. While abroad in Ecuador, I want to learn about sustainable development and coffee production as well as enhance my Spanish skills.

As I prepare for study abroad in Ecuador, I'm going in with no expectations. I know the format of the program. I'll be taking classes and living with a host family and then doing an internship at a farm. Otherwise, I have no idea what's going to happen. And that's what I'm looking forward to the most. The spontaneity. The unexpected. As one of my good friends would say whenever he doesn't have formal weekend plans, "I'm improvising." And you know the one rule of improv: Always say yes.

¡Hasta pronto, Ecuador!

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