Why Traveling Makes Life More Exciting

Why Traveling Makes Life More Exciting

Even if you can only afford one really big trip in your life, you still need to take advantage of it.
213
views

Traveling is something that can be extremely fun and eyeopening. Lots of people choose to study abroad while they are in college and those that don't will often regret it. There is so much more out there than your home town or home state or home country. The world is full of different cultures and food and music and so on, everyone should have the opportunity to experience that in one way or another.

When I was a junior in high school, I participated in an exchange trip to Ireland. For one week in October I had an Irish Student live with me, then in February I went and lived with her for one week in Ireland. I saw so many beautiful landscapes and castles. I tried all kinds of new foods, built relationships with all the students that participated in the exchange, and I still talk with some of the students from Ireland today.

The trip was an experience of a life time. This was the trip that made me want to travel when I get older. I learned so many new things, and had loads of fun, I did not want to leave! I saw that there was so much more than just the country I lived in, I was convinced that I was supposed to be born in Ireland, because I loved it so much. All the people there are so friendly and will talk to you because they know you're not European, but they are genuinely curious about where your from, why you're here, etc. It is fun to see the differences between school, nightlife, home life, food. Some of the things are so simple, but you still find it interesting.

We went to places like the Blarney Castle and Dublin, The Ring of Kerry, The Cliffs of Moher and so much more was jammed into this one short week. It almost moved too fast, I wanted it to slow down because I was enjoying it so much. The sites were absolutely breath taking, pictures would not even do it justice. All you hear is that in Ireland it rains all the time, and this is true, but it seemed that it would really only rain at night while we were there, so out days were sunny and enjoyable. If I could go back and do the entire trip over again I would.

One of the chaperones of the trip told us to get the international calls and text put on to our phones so we could communicate with our students and our family while we were over there, I was one of the few people that did not do that. While I was on the long bus rides going from city to city or going to a new destination, I was looking out the window, listening to the tour guide, taking it all in.

That was probably one of the best things that could have happened on the trip. I wasn't looking down at a screen the whole time, or texting someone the whole time, but I was taking in everything else around me.

If you get the option to travel, you need to take action, and it better sooner rather than later! If you wait until you're 50 you might regret it, because after you go one place, you're going to want to go to another place and another place and another place...Start in college, or once you graduate, because you will not regret it. Even if it is only to one place every few years it is still with it! It might take a long time to plan, and a long time to save, but you just have to put up with that part.


Popular Right Now

Meet The College Student Who Took A Solo Road Trip Across The United States

With only a cooler, a bag of electronics, and a bag of clothes, Alex Kim embarked on the trip of a lifetime.

4631
views

Not many college students can say that they've taken a road trip across the United States. Even fewer can say that they've gone on that journey alone.

However, Alex Kim can say that within one month, he drove from the east coast to the west coast of the United States by himself. And he made sure to hit all the major attractions on the way.

You name it — the White House, Cloud Gate, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and Yosemite — Kim has been to all those places.

Kim is currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, majoring in religious studies with a minor in human rights. He plans to attend law school in the fall of 2019. So, he knew that if he wanted to take a trip across the states, the summer of 2018 would be the perfect time.

Courtesy of Alex Kim

I had the opportunity to meet Kim when he briefly stopped by Lawrence, Kansas, near the final stretch of his journey. When he told me about his trip, I was baffled, intrigued, and impressed all at once.

To take a long road trip with friends is one thing, but to take a month-long road trip by himself is an entirely different story.

Kim said he simply wanted to meet people. He had the opportunity to meet other brothers in his fraternity, Pi Alpha Phi, and made quite a few friends (myself included!) on the way. He also visited family friends and people that he knew through Greek life.

Besides meeting people, this trip also consisted mostly of driving an 6-8 hours per day, listening to educational podcasts, and traveling to national parks, monuments, and memorials. He even bought along a burner and pot to cook ramen noodles in the national parks. Kim called these meals his "ramen adventures."

Courtesy of Alex Kim

Kim said this trip was extremely of out of his comfort zone, but it helped that he went alone because he was able to set his own schedules, plan his own routes, and do everything at his own discretion.

When asked about why he decided to go alone, Kim said "Going with someone else means that I will spend way more money than I should… If I went with another person, I also have to cater sleeping accommodations as well."

There were many times where Kim simply slept in his car because he didn't know anyone in the area, or he didn't want to pay for a hotel or Airbnb. But he didn't have to sleep in his car the whole trip. Half the time, he had friends or family members who were willing to house him for a night or so.

In addition, going alone gave Kim a lot of time to reflect on his past and what's to come in his future.

"I can't tell you how many times I thought of what my next chapter of life will be," Kim said.

However, going alone also presented its fair share of obstacles. Some difficulties included bad weather, over exhaustion, too much caffeine, and lack of sleep and nutritious food. One of the biggest problems that he faced was loneliness.

Kim admitted that there were periods of time where he felt extremely lonely. When he knew that he wasn't going to see people for a while, he would call his parents in the morning to tell them where he had been and that he was doing well.

There was one instance where he was first traveling to a national park, Yellowstone Park, and he internally freaked out. For the most part, Kim heard nothing but complete radio silence because there was no reception. Kim said that he felt scared because he wasn't in control of his loneliness.

Aside from those challenges, Kim was glad to say that the road trip went well, and he didn't have any car trouble.

For him, some notable locations were New York City and Los Angeles. Kim didn't really go to L.A. for sightseeing, but rather to pay his respects to an old mentor who passed away. Even though he explored much of nature and national parks, he said that the most breathtaking view was not in fact at a national park, but at a family friend's farm in Harlington, Nebraska.

Courtesy of Alex Kim

"I never thought I would say this, but I really enjoyed the countryside in Nebraska. Being away from the city lights, it was very peaceful and quiet. The sunset was breathtaking," he said.

Overall, Kim approximated that he traveled across the United States for a grand total of 9,700 miles, and despite some challenges, he really enjoyed this trip. He met new and old people and witnessed stunning views that he wouldn't have seen back in North Carolina. As a lone traveler, Kim practiced humility and now sees the world with a fresh perspective.

Kim also learned many lessons along the way and here are six that he shared:

1. Learn to rely on yourself.

2. Sometimes it's good to play it by ear. You'll have the freedom to do so much more.

3. If you can't play it by ear, always have a contingency plan.

4. The people who constantly kept up with you throughout your whole trip are you true friends.

5. Get out of your comfort zone; learn to be versatile.

6. Take time to yourself to reflect on your past, make amends if possible, and plan out your future.

After his trip, Kim returned to North Carolina, taking with him all the experience and lessons he gained from his travels. Nowadays, he keeps busy by studying for the LSAT in September and working towards getting into law school.

But would Kim take this extraordinary road trip again if he could? Most definitely.

See more pictures from his trip below.


Courtesy of Alex Kim

Courtesy of Alex Kim

Courtesy of Alex Kim

Courtesy of Alex Kim

Courtesy of Alex Kim

Courtesy of Alex Kim

Courtesy of Alex Kim

Courtesy of Alex Kim

Courtesy of Alex Kim

All photos here are provided courtesy of Alex Kim.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Was Thrown Into Dragon Boat Racing And I Loved It

I tried dragon boat racing for the first time not knowing I was going to be doing it and loved it.

120
views

I recently was invited by my boyfriend to paddle a dragon boat. Little did I know this was going to be a race. Neither of us expected it to turn out as intense as it did. I thought it was going to be a semi-leisurely paddle around a lake. There were twelve teams that raced in two heat races then were seeded in a final race. Our team ended up taking 5th place out of the 12 teams which was pretty good for a team who's never raced a dragon boat.

The teams were made up of 21 people each and a coach. There were 20 rowers and one drummer. The drummer's job was to keep the beat of our pace so that we all knew what speed to paddle at. As rowers, we had to paddle in sync. I didn't think it was going to be as difficult as it was. The coach steered the boat and somewhat directing our moves.

The tricky part of paddling is that you had to keep your top arm straight. To propel the boat forward you lean forward and pull your core back to pull water to the back of the boat. There was very little arm movement involved in paddling. The bigger people with more muscles were seated in the middle of the boat as "the engine" while smaller and weaker individuals were towards the front and back. I sat in the very back of the boat next to a female about the same size as me.

The boat was the shape of a canoe but was much longer. There were 10 rows of benches and a seat in the front that faced the rowers. The front and the back were much narrower than the middle. The front and the back of the boat had a dragon head and tail on them, respectively. The coach stood in the back with a large paddle that hooked to the back to steer.

Rowing the boat was therapeutic. It was a great way to focus frustration from my week into something productive. It also made me feel strong and powerful. Additionally, it fostered a sense of team between the people rowing the boat. We all were enthusiastic and went out there to have fun but also try to win. Many of the people on the boat were my boyfriend's family who I have never met. I think this was an interesting way to meet the family and I would definitely do it again.

Related Content

Facebook Comments