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Editorial

Travel can be a wonderful thing if done for the right reasons

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March 8, 2017

With another March comes another spring break, which means that many students will be traveling over the course of the next week. No one is debating that traveling is a wonderful thing, but we must make sure we’re doing it for the right reasons.

The wanderlust fad has taken to social media as the people we follow constantly update us on their whereabouts in the world. With an endless Instagram feed of picturesque landscapes straight from our dreams at our fingertips, it’s easy to think, “Wow, I want to go there!”

And you can do just that if you have the means. Just remember, if you do visit these far-off, beautiful places, to enjoy it rather than trying to impress your followers. Travel for yourself, not for other people. The right reason for you might not be the right reason for someone else.

As a generation, we have this idea that traveling will make our lives infinitely better. We have a vision of wandering through places we’ve never been and coming out with a better idea of who we are. It’s this feeling that we want to find ourselves, and we can do that by first losing ourselves in another culture.

That may be true, but we need to remember to actually lose ourselves there. We can’t do that if we’re taking in our surroundings through a camera lens and taking selfies with vague backgrounds that kind of show where we are or have a Snapchat geofilter attached to them.

Of course, take photos. Collect memories. Maybe even buy a few souvenirs that will serve a purpose or be meaningful and remind you of your travels. Just don’t let yourself get so caught up in the materialistic side of exploring that you miss out on the experience.

Talk to new people. Go into weird shops. Try some new foods that you normally would not even consider. And, naturally, visit the typical tourist sites. They’re likely well-known for a reason.

However, if you can’t travel anywhere magnificent, you can still lose yourself a little more locally. Take a hike without the pressure of adding something to your Snapchat story. Explore some trails just for yourself. Take a walk to the falls to clear your mind. You do not have to do these things for anyone but yourself.