By Autumn Moon

Traveling is a luxury often believed to be unaffordable for most. However, traveling doesn’t always have to mean an expensive flight to an exotic location. Sometimes, a simple road trip can morph into a life-changing experience. 

Traveling teaches us so much about the way we view both ourselves and the world. It opens up our eyes to the greater human conditions we all share and permits us to note the basic needs and desires all people require: love, peace and happiness. 

Although we may not at first realize all the things we learn by traveling, the lessons we are taught become clear once we return home. The reason for this is that when we get back to our normal lives, we are able to reflect upon our travels because we have returned to our version of reality and can bring back what we learned. 

Not only does this reflection allow us to appreciate where we come from, but it also teaches us to respect other cultures, races and religions. Traveling, interestingly enough, has the ability to reduce predjudice, discrimination and racism because it forces us to interact with those who are different than us.

Traveling also alters our world views and perspectives. By seeing different places, speaking different languages and encountering different cuisines we begin to integrate and assimilate other cultures into our own. Not only does this make our lives more exciting, but it also allows us to bring uniqueness and pleasure to other people’s lives. 

Lastly, travel has major impacts in terms of relationships. Traveling alone can result in immense self-discovery. Learning to work through problems, whether its having to get a job abroad or speaking a language that isn’t your own, builds character and increases maturity. In the same respect, traveling with someone else makes for stronger relationships. With every hardship encountered while traveling, teamwork and cooperation is necessary. This forms bonds that are unbreakable for life.

Traveling, whether it’s a road trip an hour away or a plane ride across the world, can transform perspectives, values and relationships. Witnessing other religions, cultures and people opens our eyes to things we may never have seen if we hadn’t left home in the first place. So, if you’re ever offered to go on a trip somewhere, say yes — you never know where you’ll end up and what incredible lessons you’ll learn along the way.