On Traveling

I have mixed feelings about traveling. People who travel say it’s the most important experience to have in life, it’s mind-opening, it’s enriching, it’s indescribable. People who don’t travel…mostly agree. Most everyone wants to be the kind of person who travels all over. Most people want to hit every continent, see the Eiffel Tower and the pyramids, walk the Great Wall, go on a safari.

Everyone asks why I haven’t applied for study abroad. With my boyfriend and best friend both leaving the country for a semester this year, you’d think I’d give it more thought.

I’m in the small group of college students who don’t want to be in college. I don’t like the atmosphere or anything about it, and want to start my life. The only reason why I don’t change colleges in hopes of finding a better school is because I’m in a very good school and it wouldn’t be a good idea to leave it.

That said, why is everyone trying to get me to leave it? Up until very recently, not many people got to travel at all, never mind it being something “everyone should do.”

People romanticize traveling. They forget airlines, jetlag, language barriers and food poisoning. Long distance calls, getting lost, missing trains, being alone.

Traveling is not what people pretend it is. It’s finding out the Eiffel Tower isn’t as tall as you thought it was, or that there aren’t as many handprints at the Chinese Theatre as the movies make it out to be. It’s getting shoved in line, it’s having locals roll their eyes at your cameras and heavy accents. It’s lisping tour guides, backpacks and sore feet.

I wasn’t blessed as a child. I didn’t get to travel as much as my friends, and at the time it was all I ever wanted. Now, it’s not. I wish it was. I wish traveling mattered to me still.

Frankly, not much matters to me anymore. I want to want to see the world. But I barely want to get out of bed today.

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