Traveling Doesn't Make Us Better People
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

Traveling Doesn't Make Us Better People

This pond is not the ocean, but swimming out doesn't make you wiser than someone that hasn't.

211
Traveling Doesn't Make Us Better People
Beverly Tan

“Holy shit I can’t believe I’m actually here right now.”

Beyond our tiny ponds are oceans like we can't imagine. After we've had a taste, it's easy to come back and tell everyone how great it is out there. We post photos online to show how much fun we're having. We tell stories, bring back souvenirs, and constantly relive those days with #tbts. But traveling doesn’t make you cultured, volunteering doesn’t make you kind, going to concerts don't make you interesting, and did it really happen if you didn’t post photos online to prove it?

“Oh my god it was so amazing – you NEED to go.”

We rarely admit it so let’s: Traveling in the social sphere is to prove wealth, abundance, access to opportunities that others may not have. We forget to see beyond our privilege – mixing perks with necessities. We tell other people that they should travel as if they never wanted to in the first place as if we've come back wiser and full of information about what it's like out there.

Additionally, many travel without understanding or appreciating where they've been. Many go to famous sites to take a picture and leave. (They might as well hit up these fake tourist attractions and call it quits.) They come and live in districts built for tourists, that are far from representations of what the majority of the city is like. Tourists shop in branded stores identical to thousands all around the world and eat non-adventurous food that reminds them of home.

Okay, that's a little presumptuous of me, but that's what tourism is. If we don't put in the extra effort of learning about the cultures we visit, about experiencing the authentic local lifestyles, what wisdom are we really bringing back to our little pond?

Perhaps you do want to go somewhere just for a change of scenery and to turn off your mind. And that’s perfectly fine! But when we treat traveling as a necessity to personal growth, we limit the growth of those who can’t travel, and we fuel an unhealthy relationship with social media and personal image.

Travelling can be great to explore different cultures, and see different ways of living and enjoying life – of “broadening our horizons” and all that bullsh*t. And it’s true if we immerse ourselves and actually open ourselves to the new culture when we’re there, and not isolate ourselves with touristic trivialism. And if we can’t travel, we can broaden our cultural horizons through literature, films, (um hello, the Internet?), and even travel through Google Street View (it’s life-changing).

And hey, there are two sides to every coin. Here's to making yourself feel a serious case of wanderlust, and here's to crushing those dreams.

Let's all first travel with our minds before we take our first steps.

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

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

71397
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

133462
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments