With so many awful things happening in our world today, it might be easy for you to, say, put off that trip to Europe, or “postpone it” for another time. But I’d like to stop you right here. While there are probably so many people telling you to stay, I want to tell you to go. Don’t let fear keep you from fulfilling your dreams. From reaching a goal. Or from taking your life (seriously, your life!!) to the next level. And here’s why.
Bad things will always happen. Unfortunately, this is inevitable. With so many conflicting perspectives, opinions, influences, and beliefs in this world, humans will never see eye to eye on everything. And sometimes the differences between us motivate violent behavior. While we are making strides toward a more peaceful planet, bad things will likely continue to happen. But you cannot wear the negative as a lens for how you perceive travel and how you view the world. There is love, harmony, tranquility, and beauty all around us. And you can find those things while traveling!
Traveling reinforces the good things. After the recent attacks in Brussels, Travel+Leisure’s Nathan Lump said it perfectly in this article. He reminded us that, “Travel fosters human understanding, and empathy for people whose lives are unlike your own; it opens your eyes to otherness, including other cultures and religions.” Understanding new perspectives and learning to empathize with others are behaviors that combat terrorism in a powerful way. You have the opportunity to be a positive example from your country. A tolerant and peaceful person. Traveling is a privilege, but as a global citizen, it is also your responsibility.
There is no better time than now. We never know what each day will bring, and we can’t assume how long our lifetimes will be or how many chances we will have to see and explore our world. If you have the means physically and financially to travel abroad, what are you waiting for? Make the time. Schedule your trip. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to be filled with regret because you never went. No matter how long or how short, your experience abroad will be more special and meaningful to your life than any material possession you could buy. It will continue to impact you every single day after you return.
In this crazy world that we live in, things will always be crazy. We are more aware and exposed every day with the advancements of our cultures and the technologies that we interact with. Fear is a powerful emotion, but not one that you cannot overcome. And not one that should stand in your way of seeing the beautiful and wonderful things in this world. As I prepare to plan my trip abroad this summer, I am full of excitement and wanderlust, not fear, doubt, or worry. My heart is happy knowing that I will be interacting with people from different countries and cultures while experiencing two new cities that I’ve never been to before, and reuniting with one that I adore.
Where are you headed to next?