New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for being difficult to keep. We can usually keep up with them for a couple of months, but after that, we lose our passion and forget why we made our resolutions in the first place. If you’re going on the Catalyst, you’ve made a resolution to travel, to learn, and to grow while journeying through Europe. This resolution is one that you’re going to want to keep. Traveling is hard; there’s no doubt about that. However, the amazing experiences you’ll have are incredibly worth the struggles you’ll encounter before you leave to go to Europe. Here are a few reasons that you should keep your travel resolutions this year.
You’ll have the chance to see things you’ve only ever read about in textbooks.
You’ve read and learned about Versailles, World War II, the Charles Bridge, and the Cold War while in your classes, but learning about these things while on location is a whole different experience. Imagine walking through the Louvre, your shoes clicking on the shiny, expansive floors, and catching a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. You will never have that experience in the United States. Think of yourself strolling through Prague’s winding, ancient roads. You’ll need to be careful of the cobblestones; you won’t find many asphalt roads in Old Town!
You’ll be challenged in ways that you won’t be in a traditional classroom.
If you want to get out of your shell, traveling will be an extremely valuable experience. In Europe, you’ll be surrounded by people who are not speaking English. You’ll be forced to leave your comfort zone by attempting to say a few words in another language. You’ll also get that chance to learn about new forms of public transportation. Putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation as you will while traveling is one of the best ways to challenge yourself and increase your confidence.
You’ll be able to experience new cultures.
One of the best reasons to travel is the opportunity to experience new cultures. You’ll be able to hear French, German, and Czech roll off of the tongues of native speakers. The chance to try new foods is also one of the benefits of soaking in new cultures. You can try inexpensive, yet delicious street food like trdelník, falafel, currywurst, and more. When you’re in Paris, you’ll have access to some of the best Morrocan, Ethiopian, Kurdish, Vietnamese, and Algerian food in the world. In addition, Europe is home to many world-class museums. Whether you’re interested in history, literature, or art, you’ll never be far away from a fantastic museum.
Traveling is a life-changing experience, one that you shouldn’t talk yourself out of. Many people want to travel but never leave to experience the world because of a variety of factors. If you want to keep your resolution of traveling, take steps to secure your goal: prepare, budget, and apply for scholarships. Travel is one of the most fulfilling and transformative experiences that a college student can have.