Four Reasons Why High School & College-Aged Girls Should Travel
Traveling Gives Creative Freedom
Seeing new sites that differ from those you see in your neighborhood can spark the inspiration to form creative content. Whether it is a new article, poem, play, a solution for a math problem. An article by Brent Crane of The Atlantic entitled, “For a More Creative Brain, Travel.” The article states, “‘Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,’ says Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School and the author of numerous studies on the connection between creativity and international travel. Cognitive flexibility is the mind’s ability to jump between different ideas, a key component of creativity. But it’s not just about being abroad, Galinsky says: ‘The key, critical process is multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation. Someone who lives abroad and doesn’t engage with the local culture will likely get less of a creative boost than someone who travels abroad and really engages in the local environment.’” When you are taken out of your comfort zone, studying people of different backgrounds or activities of various cultures, new ideas are bound to flourish.
You Can Help the Local Communities of the Country
One reason why many countries invite tourists so openly is because they would like to tap into the tourists’ dollar. According to the Caribbean journal, “an examination of statistics from the World Travel & Tourism Council reveals that many Caribbean states rely on tourism in much the same way. Using the WTTC formula for total economic impact of tourism (direct impact of travel and tourism plus indirect economic impact of investment) for the year 2012, the over-reliance is staggering. Jamaica (27.4 percent of GDP), St Lucia (39 percent of GDP), Barbados (39.4 percent of GDP), The Bahamas (48.4 percent of GDP), and Antigua & Barbuda (77.4 percent of GDP) provide a good sample of the regional trend.” Tourism has proved to be a booming industry that keeps the economy of many countries afloat. However, people who vacation usually spend their money at trusted international resorts. These resort are luxurious and a tourist can spend over $500 per day on room and board, food, entertainment, etc. As wonderful as these experiences may be, the local business owners do not have access to these types of funds and, therefore, cannot support their families and communities. Jamaica Kincaid’s book A Small Place describes this dynamic, using Antigua as a case study. A Small Place is a recommended read for anyone about to go on vacation.
Experience New Traditions
Nations and their citizens are molded by culture and tradition. This includes dance, food, music, spiritual practices, clothing choices, social rituals etc. These are all influenced by a country’s history, their relationships with other nations, and the migration and settling of groups of people into this land. The Community Tool Box’s Section 1 - Understanding Culture and Diversity in Building Communities - writes, “It is becoming clear that in order to build communities that are successful at improving conditions and resolving problems, we need to understand and appreciate many cultures, establish relationships with people from cultures other than our own, and build strong alliances with different cultural groups. Additionally, we need to bring non-mainstream groups into the center of civic activity.” When you travel to new countries you are given the opportunity to be apart of a rich culture that transcends time and could shape the way you view others in your society and around the world. Traveling takes you out of the role of “spectator” and puts you into the role of “contributor”.
Break the Mold
Break the mold brought about by stereotypes. For the people who want to travel to countries that don’t see many tourists or don’t have much diversity, your stay may be riddled with curious onlookers. Especially those whose only exposure to diversity is through television programming, you’ll find yourself being not only a traveler but a teacher too. Please, don’t be completely opposed to taking on a part of that job. Being open to constructive conversations can break ideas formed by stereotypes.
So, get your passport, luggage, ticket and have a great trip!