The world is your textbook

Learning opportunities are not solely available in a classroom

Travelling is more than a simple vacation and an opportunity to sit on a beach while drinking mojitos at 10 a.m. Travel is education.

One of the best ways to learn something is through immersion. For example, it’s easier to uncover the mystery of lute crafting by physically making a lute, as opposed to reading about the art form from a text.

Likewise, it’s easier to learn a language through spending numerous hours in a country that speaks the language, than through an app on your smartphone.

Learning about the world and its people is no different.

“I think that it’s important for people to travel because travelling gives you the opportunity to learn, experience different cultures and see the world in a different perspective,” said Ashley Leuterio, a travel and tourism student at SAIT.

Mark Twain, the famed author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, was quoted as saying, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on those accounts.”

Twain was right. It’s difficult to accept that which you do not understand. And, as we are all inhabitants of Earth, we should understand the customs and traditions of those around us.

In addition to learning about the workings of the world, travelling also provides you with the opportunity to learn about yourself.

Perhaps while travelling in Norway, you may learn that you are an adept snowboarder, or that you really love lutefisk – an air-dried fish that is treated with lye. It’s impossible to learn without first trying.

While discussing travel with someone, you will often hear things such as, “Now just isn’t the right time,” or, “I don’t have enough money.”

While these are reasonable concerns, you will likely never have enough money, and the timing will never be perfect. But that doesn’t mean you should just stay home.

Travel doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. By limiting the amount spent on everyday items such as food and beverages, the expected costs can drop dramatically. Instead of staying in a five-star resort, opting for a youth hostel will save a noticeable amount of money per day while increasing the possible duration of a trip.

“I believe that there is never a time to not travel. Especially to not miss out on such an amazing opportunity. There is always a plane out there waiting for you,” said Leuterio.

As the end of the semester approaches, there will be a multitude of students without summer jobs in their respective fields to go to, and they may be left wondering what they want to do with their free time.

“Don’t delay your summer vacation. Go for it and enjoy yourself. Enjoy the food without guilt by balancing it out with healthy eats and staying hydrated,” suggested Leuterio.

So, if you’re one of many students who don’t have their summer planned already, take the opportunity to travel.

While you may not learn about your field of study, you will certainly learn about life.

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