St. Augustine once said, "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Do you agree? What experiences do you have? Where have you been and where do you want to go?
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I love this quote and believe in it wholeheartedly. I feel blessed in having had the opportunity to travel, thanks to having British parents who shared a travel bug. From a young age, traveling by station wagon, bus, motor home, plane or by chip, my education and understanding of the world was impacted by what I saw and experienced in other regions, states, and countries. I must say that my most educational, as well as memorable, traveling experience was my trip to Athens and then to Santorini. My friend and I, we were 19, took a ferry (over 20 hours if I remember correctly), from Brindisi,Italy to Greece. After a train ride to Athens, we jumped on a plane to the beautiful island of Santorini. We spent a wonderful ten days on volcanic beaches and enjoying the Greek island nightlife. What an experience, and one that I could never duplicate.
It is enrichment to the max. I never appreciated Lit more than when I had the chance to study at Oxford and sat in the same bar where JRR Tolkien used to get drunk with CS Lewis. It was surreal. In my most intense moments of "spirited" stupor, my first image is of the Eagle and Child. And it makes me want to become a great writer so that someday some says that I used to go there too.
Travel is one of the best forms of education - suddenly abstract topics that we study in textbooks in the safety of our classrooms become all to real when we visit key locations. I remember visiting Auschwitz after studying German history and the holocaust, and suddenly the reality of the Reich and the "final solution" became terrifyingly real as I was faced with piles of shoes and human hair. A rather extreme example but I think we lose something if we do not travel.
It's very important, and I emphasize it to my students all the time. It broaden your horizons and perspective, reminds us we are not the only ones on the planet and that other peoples/nations have interests to consider as well, along with our own. The exposure to other cultures and languages lowers barriers and raises tolerance and awareness. I think travel is education, plain and simple.
Travel makes that which we study real... culture, language, literature and history. Other governments and cultures have disadvantages that we do not have in the United States and that teaches us to value what we have. On the other hand, it also shows us ideas of advantages (although rare) that other countries have which we miss. These experiences provide opportunities for us to value and reevaluate why we do what we do here in America.
Having been really fortunate enough to have spent quite a bit of time outside of the US, travel has been really important to my education, but it isn't a necessary part of education and it can also certainly be squandered easily. Going abroad and hanging out in bars and drinking your face off might be educational in some ways, but it doesn't really require traveling!
At the same time, if one wishes to learn about another culture or to learn another language, travel to that place can be absolutely essential. There is no substitute for total immersion when it comes to learning another language. But the cultural aspect of things can be found locally or at least in places not too far away as well, so one doesn't have to travel the world to find the chance to learn about another different culture.
I certainly think that travel and living abroad is one way to help open a person's mind and encourage individuals to consider events and the world around them from more than one perspective. I wouldn't, however, stereotype people who have lived in the same general location as necessarily being prejudiced or living in fear of the unknown.
I've traveled a great deal; I've lived in other places. But I choose to come home; I choose to see my world and my "neck of the woods" from multiple perspectives. Many others do too, regardless of how much they have traveled.
As a military kid, my family never lived in the same state for more than three years. Although I didn't leave the country until I was in college, I can say that travel of any kind is important to education.
I went to college in Texas - the rest of my immediate family was up in Washington state. There I met people who had never lived away from home (and even in Waco were only a few hours away). I can say right now, the people I bonded with the most quickly were definitely not the home-bodies.
In my experience, people who have traveled (and like reply #2, LIVED in other places) have a better understanding of how small the world actually is. They understand how to accept people who are different from themselves more quickly and they generally seem to be more open-minded. Those who have stayed in one place their entire lives often live in fear of the unknown and that fear often creates prejudices.
One of my associates has just recently taken a leave of absence from work to live and work in Los Angeles. The last thing I said to her as she was leaving was to tell her that she would experience something very unique in travelling that she would never be able to replace within the confines of a classroom.
I am a true believer in travel and in experiential learning. I believe in St. Augustine's words 150%, if there be such a thing! I have travelled to approximately 15 different countries in all continents. I plan to travel to parts of Africa and Europe that I have not yet been able to see. I love being with people of different nations, cultures, religions, and customs. One must be physically in a particular region to gain a richer understanding of others. For myself, travel is synonymous with life. Without travel, the vitality of life would vanish.
I agree with post #4. For the past five years, I have taken a group of students for anywhere from 11-17 days overseas. We use EF Tours, but there are many companies out there now which strive to make travel affordable for everyone. Our tours cost anywhere from $2000 to $4000, and include all travel, hotel, breakfast and dinner daily, and a 24/7 tour guide who is multilingual. I have traveled to 15 countries, and lived in South Korea for one year as teacher of English as a foreign language. Although our trips took us to our destinations only for a short while, the students were introduced to new foods, culture, languages, architecture styles, government styles, and political views. I think their favorite thing in every country is the discovery of how the toilet flushes, but they come away with a new appreciation for the blessings of our country and an understanding and tolerance of views different from those of America's. Open markets are always my favorite places...I love a good bargain! The history of the place is also a huge plus. I am a history nerd, and my students always marvel at how we walked where Jesus walked or put our hands in perhaps the same place on the banister as King Henry VIII. THAT is cool.
Next summer in July 2011, our trip is New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii. If anyone is game, let me know! It's 17 days of education... including surfing, rain forest exploration, and diving for pearls.
I can't think of a better way to understand the culture and insights of other people than by visiting foreign countries. Although a tourist may not be able to gain a vast understanding of a foreign land during a short visit, one can certainly get a rudimentary glimpse at how other people live. I have traveled to more than 20 foreign countries--with many return trips to the majority--and it certainly has helped to keep me more open-minded about the different attitudes and beliefs that they have. After all, America is a relatively young nation; a trip to Europe, for example, will remind one that these cultures have been in existence for thousands of years before us. The architecture, food, music and people will provide a new experience for the traveler. The vast history--both historical and modern--and the experiences that one can realize should not be missed.
I think that if a person has an opportunity to travel abroad then they are very lucky. Many people are not able to travel for numerous reasons. They may not be able to afford it or perhaps they have small children and simply can't leave.
The fortunate thing is that we have technology that enables us to see the world right from our computers. Last summer I participated in a workshop that collaborated daily with people in Africa. It was a great experience. Although we weren't actually in Africa, we were able to meet locals, see the landscape, etc.
I have always told my daughter that we were going to go on an African safari for her high school graduation present. I would love to go there and that is a goal of mine.
I don't think you get enough out of travel to make a big difference. That may be because I haven't been anywhere more "exotic" than Vancouver, BC since I was a kid.
I think that living in other places (as opposed to staying there a couple weeks in a hotel) really furthers your education. Growing up in Micronesia really affected my perspective on America and the world, that's for sure.
I wonder if "travel" in St. Augustine's day was so slow that travelling some place was like living there. I wonder if this quote of his applied more back then than it does now.
i believe that travel can be nothing but beneficial to a person's general knowledge. It teaches us about History, geography and shows us new people and cultures. This can open us to new ideas and experiences and ultimatey is able to make us more accepting and much more broad minded. Not only this but travel gives us a sense of freedom and gives us the opportunity to make new friends and get in touch with people around the globe who can share their experiences and beliefs with is. Studying places from books can never replace seeing it ourselves. Last year i travelled to cambodia and Vietnam and after going to S21 prison and the killing fields as well as the cu-chi tinnels i sincerely believe that i could never have learned or had a such an experience from books or photos as i got from seeing the places myself.
I think if one wants to live life to the lees one must travel. It not only helps one to unwind from the boring, insipid life of routine, but also, opens new vistas and broadens the intellect. What better way to learn the culture, traditions and history of a place than a hands-on experience of the same.
I think travel also helps in understanding people and their behaviour, and why some races react in the way they do. This helps in not being judgemental and accepting people at face value before condemning or disparaging their culture or religion.
In an age where we are constantly exposed to other people’s opinions in articles, books, blogs, television etc we forget to experience life ourselves. There is also a lack of independent thought, travelling in many cases remedies this. Reading WWI poetry is totally different to actually visiting Somme or Flanders. Through travel stereotypes are dispelled and ultimately characters are built.
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