Expanding Horizons and Nurturing Growth
By Christy Evers
In past posts I’ve mentioned that travel has been a teacher, soother and friend. I thought today’s writing prompt was the perfect chance to explain more in detail why I call travel, “my teacher.”
In the journey of life, we often encounter various teachers who shape our understanding of the world. While classrooms and textbooks play an essential role in education, there is another profound teacher that offers invaluable lessons—travel. When we encounter the world, the world shapes our entire being. Just like a good teacher, travel has the power to enlighten, inspire, and transform us. Let’s explore the remarkable parallels between travel having similar traits as a good teacher, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning, critical thinking, broadened perspectives, and hands-on experiences.
A good teacher is a lifelong learner, always seeking knowledge and new perspectives. Similarly, travel presents us with endless opportunities to learn and grow. The world around us tells us the tales of the past and yet continues to expand and evolve with modern times. Every destination unravels a unique tapestry of history, culture, and traditions, inviting us to delve deeper into the world’s richness. Whether it’s exploring ancient ruins, engaging in local customs, or conversing with diverse communities, travel exposes us to a wealth of knowledge that cannot be acquired within the four walls of a classroom. Embracing the spirit of curiosity and open-mindedness allows us to embrace the role of eternal students in the classroom of travel.
Travel nurtures Independent Thought. A good teacher encourages students to think for themselves, fostering independent thought rather than dictating what to think. Similarly, travel offers an environment that challenges our preconceptions, allowing us to question and reevaluate our beliefs. By immersing ourselves in unfamiliar cultures and environments, we encounter different perspectives, customs, and ways of life. We learn to appreciate the beauty of diversity and develop a more nuanced understanding of the world. Travel teaches us to think critically, to ask questions, and to embrace the richness of varying viewpoints.
Embracing the world’s classroom broadens our perspectives. A good teacher broadens students’ horizons, helping them see beyond their immediate surroundings. Travel is a powerful catalyst for expanding perspectives, taking us far beyond our comfort zones. It encourages us to step into the shoes of others, fostering empathy and understanding. As we explore different landscapes, meet new people, and encounter diverse cultures, we develop a profound appreciation for the vast tapestry of humanity. Travel dissolves stereotypes, demolishes prejudices, and builds bridges between individuals and communities. It teaches us that our differences are what make us beautiful, and that unity lies in celebrating our shared humanity.
Learning through immersion gives the traveler/student, hand’s-on-experience. A good teacher knows the importance of hands-on experience in the learning process. Similarly, travel offers us the opportunity to immerse ourselves fully in new environments, fostering experiential learning. We taste local cuisines, participate in cultural celebrations, and engage in activities that ignite our senses, speak new languages and learn new words. By actively engaging with our surroundings, we internalize the lessons learned on our travels, creating lasting memories and insights. Travel allows us to step out of our comfort zones, embracing the unknown, and experiencing personal growth through meaningful encounters and experiences.
“I’d rather have my students drink from a running stream rather than a stagnant pool.” – Dr. Howard Hendricks. This powerful quote reminds me of the importance of seeking dynamic experiences that nourish our minds and souls. Just as a babbling brook is alive, ever-changing, and constantly refreshing, travel offers a never-ending source of knowledge and inspiration. By exploring the world, we quench our thirst for learning and ensure that our intellectual and spiritual growth remains vibrant and ongoing. A Stagnant pool festers with bacteria, those who drink from it become ill. Much like a stagnant pool, we weaken our inner being and stunt our emotional growth by remaining stagnant in life by never expanding, growing or moving.
In the realm of education, travel emerges as a refreshing, running stream, a remarkable teacher, offering transformative experiences that shape our worldview and nurture personal growth. Like a good teacher, travel encourages us to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and compassionate global citizens. It broadens our perspectives, expands our horizons, and provides hands-on experiences that leave a lasting impact. So, let us embrace the lessons travel has to offer and embark on a lifelong journey of exploration and discovery.
“Travel is not just seeing the sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
Travel is not my escape from life. Travel is my soother, my teacher and friend. Because of travel I’m able to more fully and enjoyably integrate with life. It’s a short trip. Enjoy the journey.