The Effects of Traveling By: ELiza noell

From visiting a neighboring city to flying around the world, many people can agree that traveling is a unique way to spend time with family, friends, or by yourself. As cultures spread and trends rise and fall, people are now embarking on new experiences more than ever. But what effect does traveling have on us?

Several students have had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country and the world. Sophomore Esmeralda Skov and senior Rachel Watermeier share their experiences.

“I usually go to Italy with my mom, because my mom has family in Italy. I go every summer for three months,” Skov said. “I’ve been to Milan, Rome, Venice, Mont Blanc…North Italy, I still need to go to the south.”

The Watermeiers are shown in their trip to Rothenburg, Germany. Watermeier stated, “My favorite place we’ve traveled is Germany. We visited close to Christmas, so entire towns were decorated and there are several Christmas stores and outdoor markets selling handmade toys and decorations. The food and desserts there were also amazing. My family is German on both sides, so it was interesting to see the country for that reason, too.”

People who travel internationally, such as these students, are more exposed to the ways of life of different countries, such as foods, behaviors, and etiquette. For example, these two students travel the world often, their family vacations bringing them from country to country.

Watermeier elaborated, “Traveling has made me an adventurous eater. I’ve tasted as many foods as I can. [Traveling] gave me an appreciation of the lifestyles of people across the world based on their history and traditions.”

Skov described her view on experiencing several different cultures, “It does make you more aware of traditions around the world,” she states, “Italy has a lot of different foods than here; they have a lot of pasta and fish, since it’s Mediterranean, depending on where you are. I’ve been to Central Asia, which has a lot of different culture, different people, and different style.” A photo from her trip to Milan is displayed below.

Students aren’t the only ones who venture the globe. Several teachers have brought students to different countries. World Literature teacher Mrs. Mynatt mainly visits the UK. This past year, she went to London, Stratford, Stonehenge, and Bath, as well as spending time in Whales and Dublin. Mynatt has not only been able to travel throughout many western countries herself but has brought some of her students to venture among the globe with her as well.

“Sometimes I travel independently, but for the past seven years, I’ve been taking students abroad, usually I choose a different destination every year. I get students from all grades, maybe a couple freshman, usually it’s juniors and sophomores, and a few seniors take it as their graduation gift,” explains Mynatt.

Along with many of her students, as well as those who’s travel patterns match hers, Mynatt has been able to experience a variety of behaviors and manners from several countries and cities, particularly in Europe.

“It makes me more globally minded; I probably look at the world a little bit differently as being more connected than just seeing myself as a part of one place.” Mynatt states, commenting on how her trips have made her more culturally aware, “I always look forward to going every year. I love going to train stations and airports; I just like the bustle over it. I also love taking students who’ve never been for the first time especially when they get to see some sort of monumental place…It’s incredible to see the look on their face.”

So what can traveling do for you? According to Forbes Travel Guide, traveling has a very positive affect on your health, along with your overall state of mind. Science shows that the more one travels, the more their mood and productivity increases, while stress decreases.

As stated by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, travel also helps reduce physical health issues over time, helping prevent your body against problems such as heart attacks. One’s stress levels have been proven to plummet after a study by Elizabeth Scott, MS; the data reports travelers feeling better rested and less anxious.

These trips don’t necessarily have to be new places each time, but simply different environments. These changes can spur new and positive emotions. So how does traveling affect a student?

On the report of a survey titled, “Travel Improves Educational Attainment & Future Success,” the data shows that traveling enhances students’ academic performance and overall success in the classroom. As for trips associated with school, such as abroad trips, the survey has shown that 8 out of 10 students believed traveling abroad made lessons significantly more interesting and boasted a much greater effect on them.

Another study conducted by The Student and Youth Traveling Association (SYTA) reports that traveling can lead students to want to pursue the new ideas and lessons they found. For students in college, the experiences leave them with more confidence and independence. The association mentioned, “Students who travel have an increased desire to attend college. Participating in travel makes students more marketable to employees.”

Presented here is a picture of the Watermeiers in Rome, Italy.

Traveling can not only improve a student’s academic performance, but their viewpoint about the world as well. Visiting other cities, states, and countries can expand one’s ideas of how incredibly diverse the Earth is, granting them a much more understanding and broad-minded thinking process.

“It [traveling] makes me more conscientious of how I treat other people and how I see the world. It also makes it, because I teach World Literature, more alive…you get to see that there is a true human element.” states Mynatt, “…My hope is that they come away wanting to travel more. Many of the students I’ve traveled with in the past have gone onto college to do study abroad programs and said that going with me helped them decide that they wanted to see more.”

In conclusion, traveling can expand people’s knowledge and interest of the world, exposing students to various cultures, traditions, and ways of life. It presents students with new and intriguing things to discover and learn. It’s scientifically proven to enhance our chances of success in school, as well as lead us to a healthier lifestyle.

Watermeier emphasizes, “It broadens my understanding of the world and allows me to learn outside of school through experiences. I encourage anyone to travel if they can because it offers new and different life experiences you can’t get any other way.”


Created with an image by Nils Nedel - "Getting up early isn’t that easy and being on time at airports in the morning isn’t either! But a sunrise like this is very enjoyable, especially having such a great view down at the buildings, the streets and the trees which are getting smaller and smaller. Knowing that the TAP airline machine was going to land in beautiful Lisbon was the cherry on the cake."