Published on April 29, 2015

7 thought-provoking ideas on traveling, living (and interning) abroad

Why travel abroad?


1. It’s all about the journey

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” (Jack Kerouac, On the Road)


why travel abroad


2. Travel is optimistic

“Travel, its very motion, ought to suggest hope. Despair is the armchair; it is indifference and glazed, incurious eyes. I think travelers are essentially optimists, or else they would never go anywhere. “ (Paul Theroux, Fresh Air Fiend)


3. A new country can mean a new you

“Travel holds the magical possibility of reinvention: that you might find a place you love, to begin a new life and never go home.” (Paul Theroux, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star)


why travel abroad


4. Let yourself venture into the dark

“One traveler’s conceit is that he is heading into the unknown. The best travel is a leap in the dark. If the destination were familiar and friendly what would be the point in going there?” (Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari)


why travel abroad


5. Watch rituals to understand locals

“Observing local rituals while traveling is important, not for its dubious sanctity, but because the set of gestures in rituals reveals the inner state of the people involved and their subtle protocol.” (Paul Theroux, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star)


6. It’s hard work

“Travel is not a vacation, and it is often the opposite of a rest.” (Paul Theroux, The Old Patagonian Express)


why travel abroad


7. It's OK not to understand

“Nothing is more bewildering to a foreigner than a nation’s pleasures.” (Paul Theroux, The Kingdom by the Sea)


Source: The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux


Photo 1. based on People on Alexanderplatz Ⅲ, by Sascha Kohlmann, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on Trains du Schafberg (Autriche), by Alain GAVILLET, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Terminal 4, by Robert Couse-Baker, CC-by-2.0

Photo 4. based on Butchers Shop, by David Guyler, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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