Why we travel?


  1. Your travels
  2. Why travel?
  3. Why travel top 10
  4. Why should young people travel?
  5. Why don't Americans travel?
  6. Self-imposed Isolation
  7. Long way Round / Long Way Down review
  8. A geographer's perspective

Your travels

Travel in the USA

Virginia: Back in the summer of 2013 my family and I went to visit my uncle in Virginia. My uncle was begging my mother to go visit him for a week. Finally, my mom and dad accepted his offer and planned it all out. He lives in a small town called Sperryville. This was a week-long trip and my uncle was ready and had our days planned out. From my hometown to Sperryville is about a seventeen-hour drive. Our family drove all the way there, it probably was in total a twenty-hour long drive there.

The first day we got there was just a tour of the town and a rest day. My uncle is a fireman, so we got to go to the fire station and ride around town in the firetruck. The second day my uncle took us to a nearby town called Luray. There we took a tour of the Luray Caverns and also the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum. The caverns were the most incredible and surreal experience. Seeing the stalagmite and stalactites was amazing. The third day we went up into the Appalachian Mountains, since the town was right by them. We ate at this opening for viewing the landscape. The view was phenomenal, and we stayed there for a couple of hours and went to the gift shop to know more about the mountains.  It was a very peaceful and beautiful but short day.

The fourth day was full of activities. My uncle took us to Washington D.C., he only lives about an hour away, so it worked out perfectly. We were there for the whole day walking around, going from monument to monument. Some of the places we stopped or went by was the Washington Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, The Pentagon, The White House, The U.S. Capital Building, and lastly, I wanted to go to a museum before we left. We had time to go to one, and I choose the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Going to Washington D.C. was so surreal and overwhelming with so much to do and go. It was filled with history wherever I looked. The next day was in a way planned by me.

I wanted to go to Gettysburg Pennsylvania, and I knew this was my only chance of going. It took a bit of convincing my uncle to take us there, but he agreed, and we got to go there for the whole day. It was about two hours away from Sperryville. I remember I was curious and interested in the Civil War because we were talking about it in history class in high school and specifically the Battle of Gettysburg. I wanted to go see a battlefield in real life and stand where so many soldiers once stood and fought. Once we got there, we took a bus tour to go around the town and battlefield to know the history and stories of Gettysburg. When the tour was done, my family and I just drove around and stopped at different locations all over. The energy and feeling were heavy and nothing I have felt before. It was strange standing in a field where one of the bloodiest battles happened where so many soldiers once died years ago. The last day of being at my uncle’s house was short and pleasant. We just hung out at the pool for half the day and then it was time to go back home. My cousin is getting married this year in May and we may go back to Virginia again.

Colorado: I have been to Colorado a couple of times. My aunt lives about thirty minutes north of Denver. The first time going there was when I was in fourth grade, which was around 2008-2009. My family and I went there for my cousin’s Quinceañera in Denver. More recently, this past year we all went again for my cousin’s graduation in Boulder, at the University of Colorado Boulder. We were there for a weekend. After the graduation my whole family and I went down to Denver to eat at a restaurant called Root Down. We also went to check out the City Park and stayed there for a couple of hours relaxing and enjoying walking around.

Kentucky: While being in FFA in high school I got to travel to nationals in Louisville. My friend and I were going just for fun since we signed up to go and support those who did make it to nationals. My FFA group was pretty small so we had to go in a different charter bus with another school and another FFA chapter. My FFA teacher was not with us, he had to go earlier than we did so we were left with the other school’s FFA teacher. We eventually made it and for the next four days we would go back and forth from the hotel, convention center, and to the arena each day. The convention center was filled with booths of many different companies or projects of each state. There would be live speakers, events, activities. The other half would be attending the competitions of our FFA members. Most of the day we were left on our own to do what we wanted to do until the end of the day where we would all meet up at the arena for the last general session for each day.

Travel outside the USA

Mexico: Mexico is the place I have traveled to the most with my family, about fourteen times already and we are planning to go again this year as well. We started going to Mexico when I was in third grade and have gone every year ever since. The reason we go there very often is because I have family there and it is where my mother’s parents live. We go visit my grandparents every year to a small town in the state of Chihuahua called Vaqueteros, for about 3 weeks in the summer. These last couple of years there have been multiple weddings and anniversaries to go to.

One of the most recent trips back in 2017, my family and I actually went on a small vacation to Mazatlan. Every trip we have been on has been to see family, but this time we went to the beach for the first time. It was for a weekend, we got to go on a boat to the Isla de la Piedra, translated to Stone Island. I got to go snorkeling, ride horses, and ride the banana boat ride. It was one of the best trips so far.

Why travel?

Huberman firstly explained to her friends in Maine the reason she travels is so be exposed to new ways of doing and seeing things. It will be good for her. Her first trip to India opened up her eyes and gave her a new perspective of the world. Being in India, seeing all of the trash on the street made her understand that traveling was all about liberation, in her words. Another experience was her seeing police brutality after they caught her molester and it being normally used in punishing and getting information out of the criminal. Again, she was not used of seeing that and she asked why would they do that. Her next travel was to China and going to an amusement park filled with small-scale replicas of famous buildings from all around the world. Looking at all of the small replicas made her understand why she left Maine to travel. It was the right to travel and to look with new eyes on familiar things.

Why travel top ten

1.     It provides you with unforgettable moments and experiences: Whenever I travel with my family, it is filled with so many unexpected moments, laughter, frustration, and just great memories that I would not have if we never traveled and went places. Our trip to Mazatlan was pretty unforgettable with a great memory of my sister, my mom, and of myself riding the banana out into the ocean with a boat pulling us at high speed. On the banana was all female and my mom was the only older person on. My mom is not to fond of the ocean, in fact she is scared of it but my sister and I convinced her on going with us and told her it will be fun, what we were not expecting happened. As we were getting to the edge of where the boat takes us, the man driving it decided to accelerate and turn around so quickly that caused the rope to go under the banana and make all of us flip over and fall into the ocean. Of course, my mother was not amused and was scared out of her mind, my sister was laughing and did not mind it, I was okay, but I was scared of what was under me, such as sharks or stink ray. Hence, we did see a stink ray close to the shore in a wave. This was one of the best memories from that trip.

2.     It makes you more confident and independent: This is important and a valid point in how traveling can make you more independent. It takes you out of your comfort zone and out of your home where you may not have everything you have at home. Traveling alone or without your parents can be challenging. This makes you not have to rely on them. It can be a very good challenge and it can make you prove to yourself that you can do anything you want on your own.

3.     It lets you gain useful knowledge: Depending on where you go, the experience can teach you something you may not have known or read on the internet. It definitely opens up your mind to new cultures and ways of living. You can learn so much from traveling to a different country. This is important because you get knowledge and learn from different places around the world that can change you way of doing somethings.

Why should young people travel?

The six reasons why young people should travel

1.     Getting out of your comfort zone

a.     When you are young you live with your parents for about 18 or a couple of more years of your life, so you get very comfortable in your home and town. You have your daily routine mapped out every day, so once that is broken from traveling to a different place that is completely unknown to you, can be scary. The problem is that there are so many learning opportunities from traveling, but young people are not taking advantage of traveling.

2.     Traveling builds confidence

a.     Being in a foreign country with many unfamiliar obstacles such as not being able to speak the language and asking for something at a store or other places and trying to go on public transport. It gives you plenty of more confidence coming back to your home country.

3.     You will develop cultural sensitivity

a.     Being immersed in a culture will teach you the norms and traditions of the people living there. You will soon find out and learn about what people do on a daily basis. As the article stated that being aware of cultural values and norms is not only fascinating but can help us understand international issues and conflicts.

4.     You can adapt to globalization

a.     In a world of growing technology, we are globalizing faster than ever. It has become normal to have a job that involves traveling for work or having conference calls from international business. It gives you more knowledge and helps you work with confidence.

5.     Be immersed in a second (or third) language

a.     The best way of leaning a new language is going to the native country. Speaking multiple of languages is beneficial personally and professionally. It can get you some great friends or connections. It is very helpful, and it will make you less stressed in traveling to that said country.

6.     Infinite opportunities to network

a.     Networking can be a lifesaver to many. Getting the opportunity of making friends abroad can get you a place to stay and show you around. Meeting many people on your trip definitely has advantages and will make your trip more enjoyable as well for the future.

My own thought on why young people should travel

1.     We are never guaranteed old age

a.     We don’t know what tomorrow brings to us, something could happen that we don’t plan. We could regret not traveling when we had the chance and we were healthy and young.

Why don't Americans travel?

Some Americans do not travel because it may cost a lot of money to do so especially if it is international. There are so many steps and processes to go through if you want to travel to a different country. People may not have the time to go travel because of work. It can get very overwhelming and people tend to just stay in their home country and travel inside it instead. There is also a little sense of fear of going to a completely new place or even country, there may be a language barrier as well.

Self-imposed Isolation?

I come from a very small town in Nebraska of a population of about 800-900 people. I would only know another family who would travel a lot and go on cruises every winter break. Not many families would travel or if they do it would be to a different state to see family on a holiday. Mostly everyone from my town would stay here for most of their lives. I have a friend who was in my class in high school whose family had not left Nebraska because all of their families lived here, and they had no need to go anywhere. It was not until senior year that he would travel outside Nebraska and then into college he was a FFA officer and he had the opportunity of going to South Africa. Another of my close friend’s family had only traveled to Florida when she was very young and ever since then they would stop traveling.

Long way Round / Long way Down review

The series were a good watch and entertaining to say the least. I appreciated that they decided to film the struggles the actors had to go through right before they embarked on their trip. The series was not only informative, it was also humorous. I had not watched something like this before and I enjoyed them. As in the review of Wallaston, I thought it was good and I can agree with most of it. Though their trip was much shorter and different than that of Simon’s whole trip. This was also shot for a series so of course they would have a whole crew with them to make it possible, so that is another reason why this shouldn’t be compared to Simon’s trip as well. Another point he talked about were the bikes and how the BMW broke on the trip and how they were not enough for this treacherous travel. I feel like any bike could not survive such harsh roads and obviously there would be malfunctions, but I am not an expert on bikes by all means, that is my assumption.


A Missing Geographic Perspective

The actors may not have had the best knowledge about geography, but it made it more entertaining to watch. They could have also gone more in depth with the different cultures of each country they were planning on traveling through. What they could have done to prepare more was to learn more about the terrain they were going to travel through to expect what they were going against on their motorbikes. What if the roads were on construction or were no longer able to pass through? The preparations and challenges they showed in the first and second episode were good representation of how plans may not work out the way you want them to when planning trips. I liked how they showed the realness and challenges of their whole trip.


Submitted by Julisa Prieto-Garcia on February 2, 2019.