5 reasons going abroad is more important than ever before
Just because some international governments are making moves towards isolationism, doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to follow suit. The world has so much to offer and by being an international citizen we can become thoughtful, educated and humble ambassadors of where we come from.
Why is traveling important today?
1. Travel teaches us to embrace differences and respect diversity
The desire to close our borders reflects an uptick in nationalism, which is spreading across the globe. And while it’s a person’s right to believe what they want to believe about immigration policies, there’s nothing ok about discrimination. Going abroad helps people see the human side of another culture and realize that the cultural differences that divide us don’t have to. Difference isn’t something we need to fear. After all, how boring would the world be if everywhere were exactly the same?
2. International trade and business is instrumental to the health of the global economy
Professional experience in another country adds to a young person’s understanding of their industry in an international context. The world will not stop trading. Understanding that the global trend is towards globalization and the future of industry depends on working with our colleagues abroad is an important lesson to learn, and you can do it while you’re abroad.
3. Finding solidarity with people around the world can only make us stronger
Just because certain global powers scale back the government’s involvement in the world, doesn’t mean we can’t be ambassadors as citizens. Working and sharing experiences with professionals from around the world will make you realize that the world is a good place to live. There are people from all over that are happy and willing to meet you in the middle, learn about where you come from and share their own story. Establishing a sense of unity with people from another cultural background can be an incredibly rewarding international experience.
4. It’s good for your soul
There’s something about traveling that makes life feel like it’s worth living. Learning, exploring, playing, sharing, growing and changing are all things that we crave as human beings. Going abroad offers all of that.
5. Traveling boosts your ability to talk across differences
Interactions with people who don’t share your point of view will expand your tolerance of people different from you. Getting past fundamental differences in others and finding common ground isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes practice. Going abroad can help improve your tolerance and teach you to understand perspectives different from your own. Everyone sees the world a little differently. It’s important to respect that and realize that your way is definitely not the only way, and may not necessarily be the right way either.
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1. based on Travel, by Moyan Brenn, CC-by-2.0