Traveling is Imperative for Growth

Traveling is Imperative for Growth

Why traveling is the best way to become more open minded and grow as a person.


My first trip was to Walt Disney World when I was just a baby, and my last trip was this summer when I went to New York City with my mom. In between those two have been countless trips where I have seen and learned new things and become a better person along the way. I was fortunate enough to be raised by two wonderful parents who prioritized traveling. While I may not have been jet setting across the world and traveling to different countries by the age of 2, I was, however, introduced to new places and new people often and early in my life.

I grew up in a small community, and I would see people develop a narrow-focused vision. Most people could not see outside of our small town in the Midwest and had a hard time relating or empathizing with other people. However, this was not the case for my family, and I attribute the bulk of credit to traveling.

Traveling will automatically introduce you to people who live differently than you. Even if you are just a state or two away, every place has its own culture and way of life. I believe it is vital to see how other people live in order to develop a sense of perception and empathy. We cannot fully understand what people are going through or sympathize when them unless we try to fully place ourselves in their situation which comes with traveling. I have developed a caring and protective side for the homeless throughout the last couple of year because they are prevalent in the majority of the places I have visited. Seeing their conditions and hearing their stories has given me the motivation to help them whenever I can. Volunteering at food kitchens, helping people I see on the street, or just lending a hand when someone needs one are all things that have come from my experiences with the homeless. These experiences are not something I can get from my small hometown, and I am grateful that I have had them through traveling because it has expanded and grown my drive to care for those in need.

Traveling will also introduce you to viewpoints that are different than yours. I am from a farming community, so I understand the wants and needs of farmers. However, when I go to the east coast for example, I see different things prioritized. LGBTQ+ and immigration rights are more prevalent because those are the issues they deal with daily. Seeing these people and experiencing their hardships first hand has allowed me to empathize with the people that I do not have the ability to meet every day in my hometown. I now carry that protective fire around with me everywhere I go, and I don't know if it would be as strong if I never got to see the issues up close.

I understand the traveling is not always accessible for financial and time restrictive reasons. However, any traveling, no matter how small, is beneficial, and I believe it should be prioritized. Plan a family getaway, start a savings for a flight over spring break, or just take a road trip with your friends; anything you do that puts you in a new environment with people who think differently than you will help you evolve. We, as people, need to learn to care for each other more, try to understand each other more, and respect our differences more. The best way to inhibit these traits, in my opinion, is traveling.

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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!

To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.

2. Flowers

Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.

3. Giant Teddy Bear

This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.

4. Wine

Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.

5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!

6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.

7. A Movie

Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.

8. A Necklace

I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!

Buy one on Amazon.

9. A Ring

While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.

10. Clothes

Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.

11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel

I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a gift card on Amazon.

12. Personalized Picture Frame

A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.

Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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5 Things To Look For Before Signing A Lease

"Does it have a hallway closet?"


Spring is an exciting time of year. The trees are starting to get leaves again, flowers are blooming and the weather is starting to get nicer. Spring Break seems to be right around the corner. However, Spring also brings the dreaded apartment hunting season. Once your lease is up you can either renew it or find a new place. Finding a new apartment can be stressful but that shouldn't take the fun out of it. So, here is a list of things I wish I had known to look for before signing the lease.

Check for hallway closets

Once moving in you realize how much you miss that closet in the hallway and how much stuff you really put in there. That closet was the perfect place to stash those pesky cleaning supplies, the vacuum, and the broom. Those odds and ends like the extra paper towels and water bottles so nicely fit into that hallway closet you took for granted. Living without storage for these items has made our living area and kitchen look a mess and a nuisance when having to move it just to use the table.

Noise levels

Noise levels are something that is often forgotten about when walking through an apartment. You shouldn't be able to hear your roommates Netflix binge through the wall. What about the floors do the creak? Does the door make an annoying screech when opening it? What about the traffic outside does it bother you? Remember once you sign that lease you're stuck until it is up. Living with creaky doors and floors makes going to your 8 am class so much worse knowing you might wake your roommate by accident.


Damages are something most people notice before moving in but is there water damage? Water damage often means a leaking roof or dripping pipe that could become a worse issue later. Taking note of these damages before signing can prevent you from having to pay for them later.


It's college everyone parties it seems, but living by the parties can be annoying especially if you're trying to study. Partying usually happens a couple nights of the week but those couple nights seem like every night when attempting to study for an exam on Thirsty Thursday. Studying feels nearly impossible when you hear a raging party going on next door.

Kitchen storage

Storage in general as mentioned in number one is important. A place for your food in the kitchen makes a difference in how much you actually cook. When having a place for cans or boxes of pasta you feel less overwhelmed when you do cook them. Cooking with stuff on the counters isn't only annoying but it makes a mess to clean up. Storage for all your kitchen gadgets and dishes makes for an easier life and not just piles laying around.

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