How Traveling Can Inspire You

By Kailey Walters on October 11, 2017

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A truly powerful thing about traveling is its ability to inspire. Picture the Eiffel Tower against a backdrop of rosy sky, the bustling hum and neon signs of Tokyo, or even the placidness of a smooth, untouched lake in upstate New York. Being immersed in different environments often gives people fresh sparks of creativity and new lenses for looking at the world with, no matter how near or far they go.

With countless opportunities for getting inspired by your travels, here are some ways you can learn a lot simply by venturing out beyond your front door.

Traveling can expose you to different perspectives and ways of life through new people, places, and things

Simply being in a new environment with unfamiliar surroundings is a great way to open your eyes to everything else out there. Particularly if you travel to a foreign country, the combination of so many new things all at once can make you prone to culture shock — which is, actually, a valuable experience to help you appreciate other cultures and people.

Imagine listening to a fast-paced conversation spoken in Swahili or observing how waiters interact with customers in a restaurant in Japan. These scenarios might pique your interest at least a little bit at first, making you more curious to find out more about the language and the customs there.

Generally, traveling allows you to deepen your appreciation and eagerness for learning more about other cultures. And, in turn, traveling can inspire you to broaden your general knowledge of the world and go beyond the scope of the familiar.

Traveling can introduce you to new foods

Whether you go to another part of the United States or to a foreign country, you’re sure to be surrounded by all kinds of food. Take advantage of these options to try as much good food as you can, because you don’t know when you’ll get the opportunity again. In the process of doing so, savor your food and allow your curiosity to take hold of you.

Observe the culture surrounding food — how it’s prepared, how it’s served, how it’s eaten. If you fall in love with a certain dish or delicacy that you try there, learn what you can about it from the experts. Diving into the world of food can be a wonderful source of inspiration, as it not only exposes your taste buds to new, exotic flavors but also gives you the chance to learn more about the food itself. Certainly, you can come away with something valuable if you become inspired to learn a new recipe or further explore the background of that cultural food.

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Traveling can awaken your intellectual and aspirational thirsts

For many students who participate in study abroad programs, going to a new place to study and be immersed in the culture is a very enlightening experience. When I traveled to Rome and Florence, Italy, getting to visit typical tourist sites — the Trevi Fountain, Pompeii, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to name just a few — and write about them for my creative writing class was incredible. I loved being able to fuse my imagination with the history of the places I visited to create whimsical, heartfelt stories.

Study abroad can also open your eyes to potential career goals. A friend of mine, an anthropology major, has traveled to both Madagascar and Kenya during her summers and, as a result of her experiences, has fallen even more in love with the idea of pursuing a career in archaeology.

Lastly, traveling can also help you find yourself

This may sound a bit cliché, but I find that sometimes it’s completely true. At the end of every spring semester, my friends and I visit Lake Saranac in upstate New York for a Christian retreat. For five days, breathing in the fresh, crisp air, setting sights on the surrounding trees and mountains ringing the placid lake, and not having to worry about real responsibilities allow me to take a break from the stress of reality and reconnect with myself and with God.

Of course everyone will have different experiences in this type of situation, but nevertheless, being surrounded by nature is a relaxing form of inspiration that can help you be at peace with yourself and reaffirm who you are.

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No matter where you go, near or far, traveling is a great way to be inspired in many areas of your life. Take advantage of the world out there, as you definitely won’t regret it.

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