As our lives get more hectic and busy, it is crucial that we find ways to relax ourselves. Travelling is one of those ways. Not only will we be able to experience many wonderful things, we can also pick up many important lessons that will definitely stay with us throughout our lives.
Firstly, one of the benefits of travelling would be that it enables us to learn more about culture. As the saying goes “In Rome, do as the Romans do”. Often, when we visit an unfamiliar country, we first have to follow the locals set when it comes to local practices and culture, then only can we fit in. During that process, we are able to learn more about the culture in an authentic environment. Although, with the advancements in technology, using the Internet is a much simpler and cheaper alternative, yet can one really have the same learning experience online, compared to “offline”?
For example, students learning Japanese travel to Japan to learn more about the language and culture. When it comes to learning the language, a part of culture, it is hard to replicate the learning environment of the country using the Internet or various software applications. According to a September 2018 research article by Greg Richards, many have started to use travelling as a way of learning. This is known as cultural tourism, which is a type of tourism activity whereby visitor’s essential motivation is to learn and discover experiences. Cultural tourism has recently been reaffirmed by the UNWTO that it accounts for over 40% of travel arrivals. This proves that many have recognised that travelling plays an important role in learning. Therefore, travelling gives visitors many learning experiences which are impossible to replicate with mere pictures and words.
Secondly, another benefit of travelling would be that it enables us to improve our character. After living in Singapore for a considerable amount of time, we have grown comfortable to the Singaporean lifestyle. Thus, in the country that we call home, there is a familiar bubble that we keep ourselves in to avoid any unexpected challenges life may throw at us. This forms a protective shield around ourselves that prevents us from growing, learning, and developing new skills. When we are stuck in our comfort zone, we don’t want to venture out to learn new things, and this clearly has an impact on our social skills and enthusiasm towards learning. Personally, I feel that travelling is the most surefire way to step out of our comfort zone. When we go overseas, we are thrown into a completely foreign environment where the locals speak a foreign language, enjoy their unique culture and way of life. Abandoning our daily routine and immersing ourselves in a new culture requires a lot of courage but the new adventures will trigger a dramatic growth within us. A positive attitude and willingness to push ourselves throughout our trip will influence how receptive we are to new adventures, ideas, and even meeting new people along the way.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that travelling is the best way of learning. It provides one with the first-hand authentic experience and learning environment which cannot be replicated by the media or learning softwares. It allows us to use our senses, to discover and learn about various wonders of the world. Travelling is not only the best way to learn about the external environment and culture, but it also allows us to take time to learn about ourselves and most importantly, learn how to learn.