College Student Life | California State University San Marcos

Why You Don’t Need to Go Across the World to Experience Travel

Travel can be experienced in the next country over, state over, or even city over

Often during a conversation I’ll get the question, “So where have you traveled?” I’m always a little hesitant to answer because travel is typically viewed as going somewhere abroad and my travels haven’t exactly consisted of going abroad. This often leaves me feeling embarrassed and feeling doubtful as to if I could really call myself a traveler. What I fail to realize in these moments and what I want to share with you is that travel is not experienced by your destination. Travel is experienced when you…

1. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Have you ever heard of that saying “life begins at the end of your comfort zone?” Well, the same goes for travel. Travel begins at the end of your comfort zone. You cannot travel unless you take the leap of faith and get planning! But the act of stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t just stop once you’re done planning, it continues throughout your travels. You have to let yourself become vulnerable to whatever experience may come your way to really experience the beauty of travel. Once you allow yourself to become vulnerable and step away from that comfort you open the doors to endless opportunities.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

2. Open Your Mind

Wherever your destination may be, you need to arrive with an open mind. You’re going to be experiencing new sights, cultures, foods, maybe even languages. You can’t learn to see the beauty within them unless you view them with an open mind. Be open to trying new things, be open to understanding, and be open to accepting. Most importantly, open your mind to learning. Whether or not you like it you will learn something during your travels. You will learn so much more than you’ve ever dreamed of learning in a classroom. The knowledge you’ll gain is endless and it’s so memorable that it doesn’t go away. With an open mind to learning you’re allowing yourself to be empowered by the impact of travel.

3. Experience Something New

If you’re going to be traveling, you’ve got to try something new. Your travels will start to get really boring and insignificant if you stay within the limits of what you already know. Don’t be afraid to take the risk. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. So try that exotic dish, jump off that cliff, and climb up to that glacier.

“A mind that is stretched by new experience can never go back to old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

4. Embrace You Surroundings

You’re in an unfamiliar setting, it may feel overwhelming at first but embrace it! Breathe it in. Soak up the weather. Dip in the water. Meditate upon the sights you’re seeing. Take in all of its beauty! Humble yourself and be in awe. Take out your camera and snap some pictures. Take out a notebook and jot down what you see and feel. Do whatever it takes to embrace the moment and the feelings being ignited. Wherever you are, be present. Get off the social media, clear the mind, and just be present. Appreciate the sights before you, for it is the foundation of travel.

Embrace your surroundings

5. Discover Yourself

Through experience, travel can really allow you to discover yourself. I once heard a saying “maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” Travel humbles you. It makes you see how little you really occupy of the world. It helps you to reflect on who you are as a person, what sights your heart responds to, and what cultures resonate with you. You begin to realize through the different experiences and opportunities you encounter just how capable you really are. Traveling is not about the journey to the destination it’s about the journey you take into yourself. You become equipped with a new pair of eyes and a more accurate sense of self.

Discover Yourself

So if you’re questioning what it means to travel and whether or not you can validate yourself as a traveler just remember it’s not about the destination but the way you experience that destination. So whether you’re going to visiting the next city, state, or country next door just remember to step out of your comfort zone, open your mind, experience something new, embrace your surroundings, and discover yourself.

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Alyssa San Agustin

California State University San Marcos | 5 stories

Alyssa has an eye for adventure and photography. She constantly seeks adventure wherever she goes and longs for travel. Alyssa is a photography enthusiast and uses photography to inspire others to travel and seek adventure on her personal blog. Follow along on her travels and adventures at and on her instagram @baabylyssa

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