I feel as if I have read so many different versions of Date/Don’t Date a girl who travels. I agree with those versions entitled “Date a Girl who travels”. It seems to me the several articles entitled “Don’t Date a Girl who travels” takes a narrow-minded approach to women probably without meaning to. The ideas laid out in the articles speak about a woman with unkempt hair, who will be bored by others who have regular responsibilities. They go further and speak about how women who like to travel will not be able to keep a full-time job or a relationship. I’m sure the author might not have meant for the reader to take the article literally word for word but at the same time I feel as if it has a narrow-minded and a possibly naïve connotation. My problem lies just as much with the view of women who travel as it does the portrayal of those who don’t. Just because a woman travels does not mean she can’t settle down in a major city, have quality relationships, or is somehow better than others. Just as those who don’t travel are not necessarily close-minded, boring, or frivolous people who waste money on material items. The main point is traveling doesn’t make people automatically better or more conscientious, while a person who chooses not to travel doesn’t automatically make them close-minded or less concerned about the world in which they live.
In my life, I have had the ability to travel which I am extremely grateful for but others are not so lucky. I grew up in a household that encouraged me to learn about other cultures and to branch out and be friends with everyone. My grandma would always be going somewhere when I was a child and would always bring me back something. She taught me about geography, cultural dress, and that the food in Thailand was usually too spicy for her. It was with this background that begun my love for travel so much that I began to travel abroad at 14 years old. My experiences through travel will never be complete because the world is a big place and I will never have enough time or money to go everywhere I’d like.
In my years of traveling, I have done the silliest touristy things like taking pictures in front of White Castle and I am not ashamed to admit that. I have also conquered obstacles and had truly once-in-a lifetime experiences. These are some of my memorable accomplishments: I have cooked dinner with a Native American tribe in Arizona; I have served some of the poorest, sickest individuals in the Dominican Republic; I have climbed the pyramids in Mexico with a broken toe; managed to rappel down a snowy cliff in New Zealand; braved the climb to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge; went wandering around the streets of London just because I felt like it; spent two days in Europe for the most part without any human contact; impressed a German professor so much that I received a perfect grade in his class which is virtually unheard of in German university classes; spent the time to speak to a student from Cairo who had been in the midst of the Egyptian revolution; met one of my best friends on a Midwest baseball trip; got soaking wet while trying to get to the Smithsonian Museum; and took a cruise to Alaska where I really started to understand the beauty of the world we live in.
This list could go on and on but my point is that I travel because I love it. Traveling is an ongoing experience that can never be fully understood by another person. You learn about yourself and the world around you in ways you never imagined before. A great sense of pride, self-accomplishment, and self-awareness is developed through traveling. Everyone has their own stories to tell and I encourage you to tell your own stories and to listen when someone wants to tell their story to you.