School is probably the best place to expand your academic knowledge, but when it comes to learning about life, there is nothing more enriching than traveling. Whether it’s the people you meet or the things you see, traveling provides more valuable life lessons than school, mainly because instead of being told something, you experience it.
Here are ten reasons why traveling is a more valuable learning experience than going to school:
1. Because traveling forces you out of your comfort zone
School is a place that you usually feel safe at. You know and feel comfortable with all the people in the school: the teachers, the friends, the parents, and other school workers. They all usually live in the same city, and hence they share a very similar culture. They speak the same language and they eat the same kind of food as you.
Meanwhile, traveling means new foods, cultures, language, people, and places to explore. It pushes you out of your comfort zone. And it is a good thing, because it will help you grow as a person.
2. Because traveling teaches you better time management skill
Sure, we also have deadlines in school. However, the stake is much higher when you are traveling. If you are late in submitting your assignment, you can just go to the teacher’s office and ask for deadline extension. In your travel adventure, getting late will cost you lots of money. After all, you can’t ask the plane to wait for you. It’s a good thing though, because you will learn to better manage your time.
3. Because traveling allows you to see and experience new ways of living
Nothing is more eye-opening than surrounding yourself with another culture that chooses to live their life completely different from yours. Have you been to Guangzhou, China and seen people eat cockroaches and worms? Well, traveling will give you a new perspective on how you live. You might be able to see the photo of that from a textbook, but experiencing it yourself can only be done through traveling.
4. Because traveling gives you the chance to reinvent yourself
At school, your friends and teachers can see you in a certain way and pigeonhole you into a personality type that you know is not who you truly are. Maybe you are seen as a misfit at your school. Well, travel can give you the blank white sheet – the chance to start fresh and explore the other sides of your personality.
5. Because traveling helps you build confidence
You’ve just traveled to a new country, far away from home. You have learned a new language, and used it to haggle over prices in the local market. They’re all things you didn’t know you could do before. With travel, come challenges. And the more challenges you take on, the more confident of yourself you become.
6. Because traveling will improve your planning and organizing skills
How should I organize my itinerary? Where and when is the major attraction going to be held? How can I get there (by bus, taxi, or walk)?
There are lots of things you need to plan to have a great travel experience. You need to organize your trip so that you have a place to stay and transportation taken care of. Traveling will help you sharpen your planning and organizing skills.
7. Because traveling makes you a more interesting person
Seriously, how many of you love to tell weird and adventurous stories to your friends, and feel better because you feel like you are an interesting person?
Travel is an opportunity to do things you might not otherwise get to do. Maybe you were almost bitten by a lion while doing a safari in Africa? Or that time when you were almost killed by a bull in “Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls” (Spain)? Most of these amazing stories will come from the time when you traveled, not from your time in school.
8. Because traveling teaches you gratitude
Traveling often means you will meet all sorts of people. Traveling to a poor country can make you realize just how much you actually have. You will meet (and make friends) with people who have so little in their life, but are living their life happily.
It’s easy to forget just how lucky we are. We live in a world full of abundance and wealth and often never fully appreciate what we’ve been given.
9. Because you will learn social skills much better while traveling
You will meet lots of new people at hostels, guided tours, bars, cafes, monuments, and buses while traveling. Perhaps they are local people or other fellow travelers. They can be good people, bad people, introvert / extrovert.
The fact that you get to meet them all will definitely improve your social skills. Compare that to staying in school where you will meet the same people all the time, and you can see why traveling is a more valuable learning experience than school.
10. Because you will learn how to be comfortable with uncertainty and the unexpected
If there’s only one thing you can be sure of while traveling, it is that trips don’t always go according to plan. There are plenty of things that can go wrong to either derail your itinerary or force you to change your plans.
Travel will teach you that the unexpected is rarely as bad as you think. Often, they are just small obstacles that can easily be overcome. Eventually, you become accustomed to uncertainty and the unexpected challenges that come your way. In fact, you will start embracing them and learn how to overcome those challenges.