Why Travel is the Best Education You Can Get
Welcome to your first day at the International School of Travel.
We’ve put together a full lesson plan (not in the traditional sense) to show you why travel is the best education you can get.
You may not need to know the Pythagorean theorem, or that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but there are some lessons from your school days that will come in handy. Take those lessons, and re-imagine them in the world of travel. I promise you’ll learn more than ever - and the best thing is, you don’t even have to step into a classroom (or dust off your old uniform).
Lesson #1 - Geography
It’s not all about colouring in, you know.
Geography is the study of physical landscapes. What better way to study a physical landscape than to see it with your own eyes? Travel is one of the best ways to truly appreciate mother nature and all she has to offer. Whether it be an area of outstanding natural beauty, a UNESCO world heritage site, or a breathtaking national park, seeing the world will boost your geographical knowledge, and allow you to finally become the designated map reader that you have always wanted to be...and more!
Geography also covers the study of the human species and how we interact with our environment; we can only really appreciate the people, communities, and cultures in our world when we when see them and interact with them ourselves.
Lesson #2 - Languages
¿Hablas español? Parlez-vous français? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? If your answer to all of these questions is ‘errr, nope’ then travel can help you out. It's thought that the only way to truly conquer a language is to spend an extended period of time in the country whose language it is you are trying to master.
English speakers have somewhat of a mixed reputation when it comes to linguistics, but we believe you should ‘be the change you want to see’ - it’s never too late to start learning a language. Most cities have high-quality language schools that you can enroll in throughout the year. Aside from this, just spending time in a new place can help you pick up some key vocabulary and phrases.
Lesson #3 - History
Thinking about history class may conjure up visions of sitting in a stuffy classroom - or it may conjure up more epic visions. The Colosseum in Rome. The Giza pyramid complex in Egypt. The Great Wall of China. The thing about history is - it's so much more than black and white photos in an old, tattered textbook.
History is a record of the events that have shaped our world, as it is today. It's about the moments that have impacted people and cultures, built small villages and great civilisations, and even molded the landscape as we see it. History is about the stories that make up the DNA of our planet. The beauty of travel is that no matter how big or small a place may be, it has it's own unique history - and every passing moment is another moment in history.
Travelling gives you a chance to appreciate history as it's happening - because the memories you make will become snapshots of your own history. Travel gives you a chance to appreciate a particular moment, when time and space intersect - a chance to notice every detail of the place you're in, at that particular moment in time.
So let the images you once studied in textbooks come to life. Take a visit somewhere for yourself, and make your own little piece of travel history.
Lesson #4 - Business Studies
Want a real life business lesson? Plan a trip. Business studies allow you to learn how to manage finances - and there is no better test for this than budgeting for an adventure. Choosing transport, accommodation, activities, where to eat, and what to buy while you're away will be a great test of your budgeting skills. Travel is for everyone - no matter what your budget is, being clear on how much you have to spend, and knowing how much it will cost to live in the country you are visiting, is key.
Aside from managing your finances, you'll also bolster your organisational and research skills. Every successful trip requires some level of research, to know where to go and what to see. Finding good resources, such as our comprehensive travel guide section, will help you out when planning your future adventures.
Lesson #5 - English
Forget being a student at the International School of Travel - this time around, you're the teacher. The ultimate way to get out of your comfort zone is to travel to a new place, where they don't speak your language - and this could be your chance to give back and teach others who want to learn English. They say the best way to learn something is to teach someone else how to do it. English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, so for non-native speakers, learning English is a highly desirable skill. One way to do this could be by signing up to a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) program, which allows you to gain a certification in teaching while living in a new environment.
It's not all about teaching English - you'll be seeing incredible new sights, and you'll probably be left speechless a time or two. Why not use your travel experiences to practice your writing skills? Your vocabulary is sure to improve as you search for new words to describe the awe-inspiring sights you'll see, so if you fancy yourself as a freelance travel writer, be sure to let us know.
Lesson #6 - Music
If you are a music lover, why not add some incredible sights to the sounds you love to hear? Travel allows you to combine your two passions - music and travel. Be part of the cool Californian crowd at Coachella, dance all night long at Sziget festival in Budapest, or listen to sizzlin' sounds in the city at Lollapalooza, in Chicago. Most cities around the world have a comprehensive events calendar to suit all music tastes. So, whether you're into smooth jazz, or prefer rocking out to heavy metal, it's always worth checking out what's going to be happening.
Lesson #7 - Art
The National Gallery in Prague, The East Side Gallery in Berlin. The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. When it comes to art galleries, and being a total culture vulture, the options are endless.
Throughout the year, art galleries around the world showcase exhibitions from renowned artists, providing a unique opportunity to see treasured pieces of art while away on your travels.
If you don't know your Mondrian from your Monet, don't panic. Art galleries tend to be friendly environments, with helpful staff on hand to provide information on the art you are seeing.
If you'd rather create something of your own, why not partake in the fine art of photography? Travel is the perfect excuse to sharpen up your photography skills, and capture images that you can look back on for years to come. The more you travel, the more you'll be able to capture. Simple.
So there you have it. You’ve completed your first day at the International School of Travel.
Now you're fully equipped to go on and become a grade-A travel student. It’s safe to say that travelling will have a positive impact on all aspects of your life, so what are you waiting for?
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