Traveling: one of the best ways to grow as a person and experience the outside world differently from your day-to-day life. I found that traveling the world as a form of self-care allows you to look forward to something new and exciting in our lives. I also found traveling as a way to build deeper connections and relationships with people already in your life and those you meet along the way.
I recently went on a trip with four of my closest friends, and it was an experience I will never forget
Traveling with someone on vacation equates to living with them for a short period of time. You get to experience the entirety of your day with someone and begin to take notice of their day-to-day routine. In addition to this, living with someone means living with their mess or organized living space. We went to Cartagena, Colombia to explore what the world can offer to us. We got to experience so many culture shocks together and shared many memorable moments, most of them good, some of them bad. Some notable quirks about Cartagena include most people not having the traditional Colombian accent that we have become most accustomed to due to their proximity to the Caribbean, the same reason as to why most of their dishes include coconut rice as their default rather than regular rice. Food was one of the most memorable things from this trip and something that we all bonded over. From the delicious seafood variations to the traditional Colombian snack known as ‘arepas’, the food we had during this trip is something we reminisce about to this day.
Being in a third- world country was definitely intimidating. The fact that we were visitors was more than obvious, even with some of us knowing and speaking Spanish. What really brings people together is an utterly shocking experience that either elicits good or bad emotions. Regardless of which feeling wins, both are just as memorable to some degree.
This defining moment was when my friend got robbed.
I didn’t see the situation but hearing what happened still brought some level of shock. In a third world country, events like this can go either way: end with a happy ending or the complete opposite. Thankfully, my friend came out of the incident more than safe, a little scared, but safe. Moments like these when danger arises suddenly make you realize the importance of the people in your life. Especially in a foreign place, we collectively agreed to never let something like that happen again.
My friend took some time for himself the following day to stay inside and recuperate from what happened the night before. The rest of the girls and I took the day to walk around and run some errands before going back to the states. The difference, however: we were more cautious, aware of our surroundings and took note of everyone in our direction. That’s another important lesson from traveling: responsibility. Feeling alone without our parents, we needed to encompass some responsibility. We were responsible for ourselves and responsible for one another.
Through traveling I learned responsibility and the importance of dependence on myself. Traveling with friends however, made that responsibility ten times more obvious.
Not one of us could leave without one another. We couldn’t leave anyone in the group alone. We were our own little family. Even after the trip, the relationships within the group grew, as that one shocking moment turned into a funny story we can tell people when we first meet them. The shock and fear I felt in that moment when retelling the story completely changed later on. I can now laugh at a once serious and scary situation. Even though we laugh now, it remains a lesson that we all take very seriously. During my future travels, I will inevitably fall into moments of nostalgia with that very moment, in that it is a story that I will always correlate to what could happen in a different country.
One of my biggest goals in life involves traveling the world comfortably and to experience most of my travels with the people that I love.
The way a relationship can develop from traveling together remains one of the best ways a friendship or intimate relationship can flourish (not to mention the safety factor of going with others as well). You will never forget the memories shared with the people you love. You can always reflect on these times with one another and recount all of the fun times spent together in each other’s presence. The cost usually stops me from traveling because of the high price, even if you travel within the United States. However, through hard work and dedication to my career and studies, I will get to travel the world without worrying about my life at home. I am deeply passionate about it and encourage people to do so as well, especially during their college years. I will pass down this type of ideology to my future kids and tell them about all the adventures their mother went on with her friends and the friends she made along the way.