California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

College is the time to travel

Traveling is an experience like no other. First, you’re hustling through the airport, figuring out gate changes and  security. Then, you’re up in the air watching everything familiar get smaller until it vanishes.

That’s the best part. Traveling gives you a feeling of unfamiliarity. It’s new, it’s exciting and it’s daunting. That’s why traveling makes the perfect adventure to take while you’re in college.

Think about the possibilities of traveling when you’re young. You have the ability to walk around all day visiting historical landmarks and still be able to experience any buzzing nightlife the city has to offer too.

I have had the travel bug since I was 13. I’ve always loved the idea of exploring new places and having new experiences I can remember forever. I’ve done my fair share of traveling around the states, and am gearing up for my next adventure to study abroad at Oxford in the fall.

There’s a reason there are a multitude of advice columns and Pinterest quotes that encourage a traveling experience while you’re young. You will get a different experience when you travel young versus going when you get older.

Lisa Loberg, senior director at the Study Abroad Center on campus, said it’s great to travel when you’re young because it’s a time of self-discovery.

“These are pivotal experiences that shape how you view the world and what you want to do in your career,” Loberg said.

I’m not saying that the art of travel is lost after you graduate, I am an advocate for travel at any age and any stage, but I can’t think of a better time to travel than in college.

You are young enough to have the adventure of a lifetime, meet people that could become life long friends and have memories to take with you for the rest of your life. 

You are also old enough to appreciate the aspects of travel that are more than just cool. College students have the intellect to appreciate the magnificent art at the Louvre in Paris or revisit the history of The Colosseum in Rome.

The most common counter-argument about traveling while in college is that money is not usually overflowing one’s pockets, and traveling is expensive.

“As a student, you have one very magical advantage: scholarships,” Kay Rodriguez said in the article “Why Student Travel Is More Importance Than Ever Before.” “Scholarship donors want students to travel, and thus thousands of scholarships are dedicated solely to this cause,” Rodriquez said.

“A lot of people operate under the myth that a study abroad experience is going to be expensive, and nothing could be further from the truth. There are so many scholarships that are out there just waiting to be awarded to students. You can’t afford not to,” Loberg said.

Traveling young also is one of the easiest times to manage a traveling experience.

“There will be lots of things that get in the way: work and career things. You don’t have to worry about working, making a living or a mortgage payment yet,” Loberg said.

According to Amanda Machado in an article “How Millennials Are Changing Travel,”  “Forty percent of professional men and 15 percent of professional women work more than 50 hours per week, and the United States is one of only nine countries around the world that doesn’t require employers to offer paid annual leave.”

I definitely don’t want to be having a great vacation and have it constantly in the back of my head that I have a list of responsibilities which would hinder me from having the most fulfilling abroad experience.

There’s also this common saying of traveling when you have more time, or are retired. Back in the 70s and 80s, that sounds like a great idea, but the economy isn’t helping that dream.

“Since 1985, the number of companies offering pensions has fallen from 112,000 to 23,000. It makes sense to travel now, instead of saving travel for a future that is in no way guaranteed,” Machado said.

College is a time for exploring of all sorts, and travel can open you up to a new sense of independence and confidence that you can make it out in the world.

“Horizons are expanded and the potential of [knowing you are capable of these new feats] for the rest of your life makes the experience that much greater,” Loberg said.

Go, leave the bubble, make an impact.

Rebecca Austin
Staff Writer
Published February 24th, 2016

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