This past week I went on a cruise with my family to Funchal, Madeira; two Canary Islands; and Granada, Spain for spring break. It was great to see my family again and spend a relaxing week visiting beautiful islands; however, I am a bit jealous of my friends who visited several cities over the week, instead of the four places I went to for a day each. I definitely appreciate the benefits of rest and relaxation, but my time in Europe is limited and I want to travel as much as possible. Fortunately this month I am going to visit Morocco, Portugal, and the Netherlands, as well as Eastern Europe in May before returning home to the States—how time flies! I am extremely excited to travel and compare the different countries I visit, both to the US and to Spain.
Over Easter weekend I talked to a friend’s grandmother about how wonderful traveling is. We both agreed that through traveling one can learn about different cultures—customs, languages, lifestyles, food—and broaden one’s horizons. She has lived in Barcelona all her life and said it is her favorite city, but she has loved exploring the world. I am not sure what my favorite city is, but perhaps after I have completed my travels I will have a better idea.
Thanks to technology the world has become an increasingly smaller place, but learning about a country via the news, internet, etc. is not the same as physically being in the country, observing the people, sights, and sounds for oneself. I love gaining exposure to different lifestyles and adjusting my own beliefs and behavior if I discover something from another culture that I relate to or aspire to…
During my spring break I discovered how beneficial is to document the different places I visit, both by writing down my experiences and taking photos. Often I have looked over my pictures and made comparisons between the different places that I had not noticed at the time of being in those cities. Pictures not only allow me to recall certain memories but also enhance the memories I had made, after the fact. Traveling and gaining exposure to our increasingly globalized society has been an immense benefit of studying abroad. I am so grateful for the experience to become a more well-rounded, well-traveled business student and young twenty-something trying to discover herself.
Note: I began drafting this blog on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday the theme of my Anthropology lecture was the importance of traveling and exploring, both within oneself and outside to other cultures. I was so pleased with the timing, it was one of those moments when you feel like you are truly where you are meant to be. By