You can learn a lot about where you live just by walking around, visiting different parts of town, and talking with the people that you meet. The same is true about anyplace, and you’d be surprised that you can learn much more along the path you take to get there.
A road trip opens up an otherwise unknown universe. And it is along your journey where you’ll meet the most interesting people and see the country for what it really is, through your direct experience.
While you might think that a simple road trip might shed light on a new place, what it really does is teach you about other parts of the world, and of other lesser known parts of yourself, all as you interact and experience life in a new medium.
So, go ahead and get a tune-up for your car, and we’ll explore why road trips should be an essential part of living life.
Most people who haven’t ventured beyond their hometown have a filtered understanding of other places. Basically, all you know of another place is what you’ve heard through friends, family, the media, or from books. All of these experiences you get at secondhand, and this is nothing like experiencing them for yourself.
If you don’t immerse yourself in other cultures directly, you’ll never have the type of understanding needed to truly relate with another culture. And, while you might think that America is just one big American culture, think again.
In many states, all you really have to do is travel an hour or two away to experience a completely different side of your home state. Take Louisiana for example: While you have a cultural melting pot in New Orleans, head an hour North or South, and you’re in bayou country, where life is lived completely differently.
By diversifying your cultural experience, you’re better able to relate and interact with others from all cultures, and this is a true life skill that taking road trips will enable you to develop.
All too often we come across individuals who harbor extreme prejudice for people of other cultures, races, religions, etc. Most of the time this is due to learned behavior within a family or community. However, this is also largely due to not having direct experiences with people of differing backgrounds.
If you’ve never experienced life in Chinatown, attended a Latin festival, or anything of the like, you probably only have a general idea of how these people live their lives. It is only by meeting new people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and the like that you’ll be able to eliminate any prejudice that you might have been carrying with you.
Developing and nurturing tolerance is very much needed in the world today. This is evident in the many movements for social and racial justice across the globe. It has been theorized that if more people travel and willingly attempt to learn of the customs and lifestyles of others, that we wouldn’t have such a polarizing prejudice in communities across the country.
Traveling is an Experience
Now that you’ve given your car a tune-up, installed the latest car gadgets, and you’re considering comparing auto insurance quotes, let’s discuss the real reason why travel is essential to living life.
Life wasn’t meant to be lived in just one place. This is evident from the thousands of years of human migrations across the globe. We’ve always been a largely nomadic species. And, while settling down, buying a house, and raising a family is a relatively recent development in human culture, this wasn’t always the case.
Traveling gives the mind new objects to explore. It gives us new scenery to smile at, and it brings us closer to the natural world as we watch the landscape shift and change as we drive along. Travel brings us to a point of self-exploration just the same as it brings us the ability to explore other places, and this is where the real journey begins.