Traveling Is Essential In Life

Traveling Is Essential In Life

Whether it's an exhilarating European vacation or just a hike somewhere you've never been, traveling is necessary in life.

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Recently I remembered a conversation I had with a friend on the topic of traveling, in which he told me that he had no desire to visit another country. Being a self-proclaimed travel enthusiast, I was taken aback. I began to think about all the ways that traveling has affected me and other important people in my life. From family vacations to short weekend road-trips with friends, or even just a drive to the beach, most of my favorite memories have been created in places that are, at the time, new. I've had the chance to fall in love with a place and bond with others over being there together. I've grown as a result of witnessing the lives of others, no matter how similar or different they are to mine. Without these chances to travel and the memories I've made as a result, I feel I wouldn't be the person I am today. Traveling is essential in life, and here are a few reasons why:

1. The memories

Like I've said before, some of my favorite memories have been made away from home. Throughout my life, I've been lucky enough to experience both the long out-of-country vacations and just the short in-state day trips. What I've found is that no matter the cost, and no matter where you decide to go, the memories you make will always be important. So many fundamental parts of myself have been formed around the memories I've made while experiencing new places, whether it be the foods I like, the places I want to eventually live or the ways I like to spend my time. You don't need to spend tons of money on a luxurious trip either. "Travel" is really a relative term; technically, just a quick drive to a new city is considered traveling. The value of an experience is not related to how much it costs, but by how much it affects us, and I feel that the best way to find these experiences is through traveling.

2. The bonds

It really does sound cliché, but going on vacations with my family has brought us closer together. Sometimes life can feel like it's going a million miles an hour and everyone you care about seems to be going in separate directions. This is why traveling with other people is so important. Whether you spend a day tipping out of kayaks with your brothers, fishing with your dad or shopping with your mom, traveling gives you the time to reconnect with everyone who is important to you. Traveling can be a much-needed break from responsibility, which opens the door for getting back in touch with the things and people you love. The bonds you form while traveling aren't just between people, either. You can also bond with a place, a culture, or a state of mind. You can end up forming a connection to an area that you love so much, you can't help but start planning to come back. These are strong, profound connections to people and places, and traveling is the way to form them.

3. The perspective

Everybody knows that not every person in the world shares a single way of life. There are countless cultures and perspectives that might be vastly different from your own. The best way to explore these is, you guessed it, to travel. To immerse yourself in the culture of a region is to truly understand how it works. I remember the feeling of disbelief I had when I visited the Dominican Republic for a senior trip a while back. It was eye-opening to witness the way these people live, and though it was very different, it was fascinating. I find myself feeling the same way even in the more rural areas of my own state; it's always strange for me to think about people actually living in these places and not just visiting for a week. While living in the suburbs, it can be easy to forget that not everyone shares the same midwestern way of life. Traveling puts all of this in perspective and acts as a reminder that the world is full of beautiful cultures and people and that it's waiting to be explored.

Traveling, in itself, can seem like a very simple and menial thing, but it's not. Traveling keeps the world small and connected while simultaneously building connections that span across border lines and oceans. Traveling is essential in life.

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.
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Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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I May Be Fearing The Change That Is Coming With Going Back To College, But I Am Still Hoping For The Best

Heading back to school means that this fear is hitting me like a truck.

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I have always found peace in the now. I have always found joy living in the present moment. Recently, I have realized that I become so content within the present, that I often find myself fearing the future when a change is coming. I fear what the future may bring me. I fear that the change coming will not be as good as how the present is. I don't want the change to change who I am, or affect me in a negative way.

As I head back to school, so much change is about to come. Although I have experienced similar changes before, going into freshman year last summer, I still am afraid of what is to come in just a few days. I have become so settled into a routine of being at home all summer with my family and friends, and on a consistent work schedule. Now with a change of routine coming, I am nervous about what to expect.

I will be moving into a new apartment, starting new classes, and starting the year off with sorority events that I have yet to experience. I will be on my own again and will need to become completely independent again. I will need to go to each of my new classes and begin working hard on them again.

So, I must admit. I am afraid of the future. It is one of my biggest fears. I fear the unexpected, and fear experiences that I haven't gone through yet in my life. I don't want to face something that is difficult for me to handle. I guess that in a way, I just want the easy way out in life. I want my life to be easy and laid back, but doesn't everyone?

I shouldn't make it seem that change is such a bad thing, that change is a danger to us. Because, sometimes, change can be an amazing thing and change our life for the better, But, we will never truly know what a change will bring until the change has begun.

We have a 50/50 chance at whether a change will be good or bad. This chance is out of our control.

I have to accept that it is okay for me to be afraid.

Through all of this fear I have recently faced, I try to focus on the things that I do in fact look forward to. To name a few, I look forward to setting up my apartment, seeing my friends, beginning classes that I am actually interested in, and hopefully becoming more settled into my home away from home. It is hard for me to focus on this instead of the negativity, but at least I am giving it a shot.

Although all of this change brings a large amount of fear to me, I can only wish for the best and hope to eventually feel content in all that is to come in a few days.

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