There are many reasons to travel abroad and experience different cultures. The list could, quite possibly, go on forever depending on how you organize it. Perhaps you’ve had a rough few months or a girls’ weekend just isn’t doing it for ya at the moment. Sometimes you just want to get as far away as possible from the busyness of your daily schedule. Living off the grid can be refreshing. Whatever the case may be, you should definitely try it! And, if you are short on reasons to travel abroad, I provide seven below to get you started.
One of the main reasons to travel abroad is to experience life outside the box! At home I have such a routine that I love a little adventure from time to time. Traveling to a different country lets you experience life in a different way. Travel by bus in Peru or take a train in Italy! Experience an old routine in a new way.
Traveling abroad will expose you to various modes of transportation and different ways of interacting with people. Traveling on your own, in a foreign country, is a great way to build self-confidence. Interacting with locals and eating out on the town can be fun and invigorating. In a new environment you learn a different set of survival skills like trusting your instincts and reading a map properly.
Fashion is as much a cultural expression as it is a self-expression, if not more. The movie Sex And The City 2 reminds me of the diversity of cultural expression as found in fashion: ladies from New York travel to Abu Dhabi and try to fit in (mostly). From hijabs to miniskirts and bright colors, fashion around the world is rich and meaningful. Travel abroad and you will encounter a wide array of fabrics and designs. You may even note a familiar trend or two among the local women that is similar to your own style.
I love lasagna…it’s a weakness, actually. When I traveled to Rome there was access to lasagna on nearly every corner; I was in heaven. There were also many other Italian dishes I’d never heard of or tasted before. Traveling to a foreign country expands your palate. You will experience a cornucopia of flavors and colors. The options – sometimes delicious and sometimes not - will blow your mind.
Learning a foreign language can be difficult. It is especially difficult to learn a language if you do not hear it spoken regularly. If you are attempting to learn a foreign language such as French then consider a trip abroad to France! Language immersion is the best way to practice your skills and learn faster. You may find that the locals are as eager to practice their English as you are eager to practice your French!
There is a wealth of culture around the world. Look beyond the usual tourist attractions to local activities. Learning about the local customs, rites, or religions will increase your cultural awareness. These little gems of experience will follow you for the rest of our life and influence your view of the world. They will also increase your knowledge about issues such education and human rights.
Traveling abroad will not only teach you something new, it will look great on your resume or graduate school application. Many graduate schools require a statement of intent or purpose. Including your travels abroad in your statement will show the reviewers that you are curious about the world around you. A trip related to your area of research interest will demonstrate that you are serious about your field.
If you can afford to visit at least one foreign country, try it. You will be surprised at how the experience will change you. These are a few of my reasons for traveling abroad. Do you have a list? Please, share!
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