Traveling While You Are Young Can Open Your Mind

Being immersed in another culture, experiencing their food, people and many unique qualities filled me with various new perspectives on my life, which doesn't come from sitting in a brick building for seven hours a day, five days a week.
01/17/2014 03:51 pm ET Updated Mar 19, 2014

Travel isn't something many teenagers think about on a daily basis. Most have their time occupied with school, homework and any extracurricular activities they may partake in. Thankfully, my job has allowed me to travel back and forth from my home to the Big Apple. Many times my family or friends and myself take day trips to neighboring states in driving distance, and I often go around different parts of my hometown in CT finding interesting and unique places to shoot. My mother has always been a huge advocate for traveling. She has never been the type of person to spend thousands on materialistic things, but rather saves everything she has to be able to take me to extraordinary places. The more opportunities I have had to travel and lifetime memories made, the more I can't help but agree.

Online school has granted me many luxuries, like being able to travel as often as possible without the worry of missing school. While in public school, I faced multiple teachers who lacked understanding and had the idea that learning meant assigning students several pages of a textbook to read. What can a teenager learn by reading a textbook, aside from how to memorize masses of information all at once and forgetting the majority of it after taking a quiz?

My last trip, which was a two-week vacation to Turkey in November with my mom, taught me more than I ever remember learning about in high school. Being immersed in another culture, experiencing their food, people and many unique qualities filled me with various new perspectives on my life, which doesn't come from sitting in a brick building for seven hours a day, five days a week. That trip and many others I have been able to take left me with once-in-a -lifetime memories that I will never forget. Now, I can indulge in the culture by eating a dried fig or a piece of Turkish delight, instantly transporting me back to Turkey.

Don't get me wrong, I cannot freely take trips around the world; money is always an issue, as for many. However, I know that I would much rather save up all the money I have to take a trip to another part of the world that I haven't been to than spend that money on a TV or an extravagant car, both of which will not positively impact my life. There is a huge difference between material items and memories, but many have drawn away from opportunities and experiences like traveling due to worries and fears, resorting them to spend their money on the latest iPhone or largest flat-screen TV.

Instead of fearing the outcome of a trip or having to get on an airplane, think of the memories you will make, the people that will come into your life, and the experiences you will have that will vastly expand your knowledge.