The Traveling Conundrum


Mckenzie Mangum

A Delta airplane, hopefully going off on an adventure far, far away.

A quote from one of my favorite movies, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, is “life is short, the world is wide, I want to make some memories.”

With spring break coming up, most families like to take trips to wonderful destinations, where they can get away for a few days, and not have to stress about work. This brought up the question in my life: do youth benefit from traveling? I’m hoping to help show that traveling is really beneficial to everyone.

Traveling at a young age can have a positive impact on an individual’s life. Contiki, a global travel company centered around travel for young travelers, released research proving the benefits of travel. The study found undeniable data showing a long list of positive benefits travel has on youth. According to the study, travel has a positive and lasting impact on young people for their future careers, political involvement, and goal orientation. Travel is not only beneficial to the traveler’s self-sufficiency and confidence, but also their cultural awareness and adaptability. In the study, 75% of young travelers questioned had an optimistic perspective of the place they traveled to and even themselves as a person. Other findings in the study suggest how young travelers tend to be more open-minded and outgoing. By trying something new, whether a trip or job, having a positive experience can boost any individual’s confidence. Also reported in the study, 42% of youth appear to have strong social connections and are more likely to find new friendships when traveling. Being able to travel at a young age is a privilege that individuals plainly benefit from. These benefits clearly go beyond just having a good time.

Of course, at the moment travel has been put on the back burner due to COVID, so planning extravagant trips might not be the best to do in the present time. But soon we will be able to go out and explore the world. While we wait though we can research our dream vacations and start saving for them.

Here are some opinions of my fellow classmates. When asked whether she thought if youth benefit from traveling, Mountain View senior Janean Crane said, “Absolutely! It’s important to understand that the world is bigger than oneself. Kids are naturally self centered but traveling allows that to be worn down. It is fun if nothing else and gives you a better understanding of how other people live and how the world has changed over time.” Another Mountain View student, Kaelynn Wilson, stated, “I 100% believe that youth benefit from traveling. It helps them look forward to something that is out of the norm, experience different cultures, and create memories that are long lasting. Traveling broadens youths’ views of the world around them.” Gracie Henry then said, “I think that seeing different parts of the world puts your life into perspective and makes you more grateful for the things where you live.” Aliya Lawson also offered her opinion, saying, “In my opinion, they do. It’s good for youth to go out and experience new things, it’s a time to go and have fun and not worry about anything. No homework, work, or sports. It’s a time to go and relax and have all the fun that you can have!” As you can see, there are a lot of opinions on how beneficial travel is to young people.

Personally, I think travel is very advantageous to everyone, not just youth. It gives us more opportunities to experience different cultures and groups of people outside the classroom. Traveling helps us relate to others and get a taste of what adult life has to offer. I feel like it will help you decide what you want to do in life. You may even get street smart. It will also make you a more interesting person, you’ll be able to grow culturally and learn to develop independence and how to be responsible.

Traveling is one of the most beneficial things you can do as a young adult. Later in life, you won’t resent your traveling, but you might resent not doing it. It helps you become the best version of yourself. It is important because it teaches meaningful life skills, provides you with an opportunity to meet new people, smooths cultural appreciation, teaches abilities to adapt to new environments, and prepares you for your life to come. Travel is a terrific way to have unique experiences, while having a good time along the way.