Friday, December 31, 2010

My Three Reasons to Travel

I am home.  In the lovely comforts of my cozy place in Utah.  It is snowing.  I have been reunited with my family and friends.  Christmas was perfect. School is coming up.  Skiing season is here.  Estoy muey contenta.

I absolutely loved my travel experience this fall.  I learned and experienced much.  It pushed me to new levels.  My perspectives have changed.  My appreciations have been reinforced.

And yet after three months of being away, in new places every weekend and seeing more than I could handle, I am already excited for another adventure.  You know the book- "1,000 Places To See Before You Die"?  It's amazing.  And sitting by my side.  As I thumb through it, page after page, I can't help but wonder which of those places I'll see one day.  Soon?  With my future family?  After retirement? Why travel?  Why leave the comforts of home and family?  Why establish a new life only to leave it shortly?  Why work 80-hour weeks all summer to spend all of the savings withing a few weeks?  Why put off school?  Why?

Because.  It has unquestionably been the best thing I could ever do for myself.  Travel has slowly shaped me into the person I have become.  It has taught me to love, to appreciate, to speak up, to laugh, to observe, to wait, to explore.  After really questioning myself, wondering why it is I continue this cycle, I realize that it's for three reasons.

1.  The culture.  The food, the language, the architecture, the customs, the traditions.  What makes Madrid the "City that Never Sleeps"?  What makes Xao Bi the typical Chinese man?  What makes her ensemble typical European? There are outstanding amounts of things to be seen and experienced.

2.  The people. The ambitious and hilarious English lad I met on my first Ryanair flight.  The Morrocan immigrant who shared her struggle to find employment.  The gorgeous Frenchwoman who was throughly amused at our (me and mama's) pronunciation of the French Metro stops. The best part is taking a little piece of them with me.  Figuring how I can carry the good parts of them and incorporate them into my personality.  And the worst part of it all is saying goodbye.  Thank goodness for technology.

3. The refinement.  So much of who I am has come from these experiences.  And with each experience I have bettered myself in so many ways.  My appreciations for family, the gospel, friends, and familiarity have grown.  My testimony of my beliefs has been strengthened.  My independence has increased, my knowledge has expanded, my perspectives have changed.  I have had more situations than I could count that have humbled me.  Travel has provided nothing but an uphill climb.


erin noelle said...

way cool post Brooke. So well thought out and well written. What does make the ensemble particularly European? All black?

natalie said...

totally agree. i've learned WAY more through travel than school. it's worth it.

Laur said...

Shokie, I almost cried when I read this.
I adore you. Thanks for the engagement gift. Sooo thoughtful. You are one-of-a-kind!

Lis said...

Undoubtedly the truest post I could have ever read! I definitely agree with you 100%. I feel so bad for those who never have (or take) the opportunity to leave the humble confines of their own homes and places they feel comfortable with. Not just through travel, but even school or other opportunities to learn. You grow more in a week in a different place (if you want to) than living your lifetime in one. On a different note, welcome home! And Happy new year to you:)

Si said...

love this.

Kimi said...

I already thought you were remarkably well-rounded and awesome--and that's when you were in high school!

I think travel, especially international travel, just gives you things you can't get any other way.

I've always found it hard to describe why traveling is so valuable, but you put it perfectly.

I'm so glad you've chosen and been able to see more of the world. It's the best time of life to do it, too!

Jordie Rohwer said...

brooke! i have that exact same book! that was a beautifully written post! i love it! i hope that i can experience the awesome things you have!

Matt said...

"ambitious and hilarious lad" - honoured to be a part of such an inspirational post. Keep living the life. p.s. I have that book too!