And they have a ton to talk about.
Why? Because it’s come to my attention that students and travelers are really similar.
- They both share a proclivity for toting around their possessions in backpacks
- They both eat on the cheap and don’t much care where they sleep for the night
- They both explore the world to change it.
I was musing over a cup of coffee when it hit me. The student learns “inside-out” while the traveler learns “outside-in” before each person uses that knowledge to shape their world.
As a student, I attend lectures, converse with classmates, write papers and read books relating to whatever I’m studying. I then use what I’ve learned as a tool, untangling the knowledge and crafting it to help me achieve a goal outside of my own head. I use the knowledge to shape the way I interact with the world.
As a traveler, I go out into the world, talk to and befriend new people, try new things and experience different cultures, foods and languages. I absorb these experiences from the outside world and then use them to inform my thoughts, opening up new avenues. I use my experiences to shape my thoughts and ideas.
Therefore, I think it’s incredibly important for students and travelers to be one and the same. I think it’s important for travelers to learn like a student about the world around them, instead of just moving from one tourist activity to another. I also think it’s important for students to travel outside of their comfort zone and away from their home, whether it’s a few miles or across the sea.
A semester abroad was a perfect way for me to start weaving the path of student and traveler together. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to study in New Zealand and to have had time to travel and make friends while I was away.
There’s a whole lot of world out there and I hope to use more “inside-out” and “outside-in” learning as I move through it. And hey, side-bonus is I’ll be very interesting to talk to if you ever find me sitting at a bar.
Until the next adventure,
P.S. If you come up with a better punch line for the title-joke, definitely share it with me!