"I'm here for a good time, not a long time, you know," said Drake in Big Sean's song, Blessings. Inspirational, right?
No, probably not. However, when you think of it in the sense of traveling, Drake is usually right.
For many, a typical vacation looks like this: The beach. The pool. Mexico. Florida. Drinking. Partying. A week away from our reality. And that's just about it.
Except someone else's reality is just a few minutes down the road from our resort.
Now, before anyone assumes I'm slamming people who take those kind of trips: I'm not (well, not exactly). I've been there - this summer my friends and I dropped over $1,000 each to spend a week in a secluded resort in Cancun and did almost nothing except drink (first and last time I take tequila shots) and lay by the pool or beach. Was it fun? Of course. Was it worth $1,000? Probably not - especially with the thought constantly lurking in the back of my mind that the devastation and poverty that is most of Mexico could not be that far from our luxurious, all-inclusive resort.
I think, for the most part, we have all been there. Traveling is fun - if not one of the most important things we can spend our money on - but I believe the art of learning how to travel meaningfully is so important not only because we are spending precious, hard-earned cash to travel to other countries and experience new places, but because who are we to be blind to the real culture of the places we travel?
"Meaningful" travel should look more like this: we go to a new place. We learn about the people who live there. We try new foods - and we say thank you as we cringe at the smell of them. We look around us - and we remember we are guests in these peoples' home.
And even more so, we remember that we all live on one Earth. This is all of our home - some of us can afford to spend $1,000 to lay on the beach sipping margaritas, while the people who live just 10 miles away from our all-inclusive resort struggle to gather enough money to send their children to school.
And should we enjoy ourselves along the way? Absolutely - there is nothing more enriching than experiencing how other humans live.
St. Augustine wrote, "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page."
Those who travel just to drink and turn away from the reality of what they are surrounded by - they may be reading a new page, but they are reading it upside down.
Just living, learning + loving and writing some of it down along the way. Senior + Director of Panhellenic Recruitment at Elon University in North Carolina. Currently interning + curating social for some badass clients at SFW in Greensboro, NC. Yogi, sightseer, shopaholic, foodie, writer.
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