However, some people can't, or even worse, won't travel. Whether they're scared of being robbed, getting sick, or other things, they stay home. Teenagers, especially, fall prey to this - not wanting to leave home for long periods of time, choosing videos over sunsets, choosing chairs instead of dugout benches, choosing computers over travel.
This week, I was privileged to interview a teenager, Adrianne Fogg, a missionary in Shell, Ecuador, who also has lived in San Jose, Costa Rica, and has visited Mexico twice for short-term mission trips. I've known Adrianne long before her missionary days, as we have both homeschooled for years.
HB: What was your favorite place you have visited?
AF: My favorite place I have visited would have to be Mexico, I love the people and the culture.
HB: What do you think are the greatest advantages or disadvantages to international travel?
AF: International travel allows for more cultural experiences – the ability to immerse yourself in foreign languages, step out of your personal comfort zone, and gain a different perspective on how the world works. Disadvantages to international travel are the Visa paperwork, the vaccines, and, of course, the customs lines...
HB: How has traveling changed your life?
AF: I can look at situations not only the way Americans do, but because of my travels, through the way that Latin Americans see the world as well. I've had so many experiences that some people will never get to have, including zip lining through the rainforest, seeing wild monkeys, drinking chi-caw (spit and pre-chewed Yuca), and experiencing many Ecuadorian holidays.
HB: Can international experience change people's lives?
AF: By traveling internationally, people open themselves up to new experiences. Sometimes we forget how well off we are, until we see the reality of other people who could never imagine living our lives - and we can’t imagine living theirs.
HB: Do you think travel is important for teens?
AF: People, teens in particular, fall into the pattern of their lives, without considering the needs of others. Seeing other cultures and bringing teens out of their world (probably consisting mostly of texting and internet) into a world where the next meal is not guaranteed can change their lives. I know it changed mine.
HB: Is travel worth it?
AF: YES, travel is worth it! It comes with complications, but it’s always a learning process and helps broaden your horizons. Plus, mishaps come with great stories to tell later!
Someone born in America is bound to see the world differently than someone born in Ecuador. Someone living in Mexico will have different experiences than someone in Russia. Yet so many people think that the entire earth is the same as what they know. It’s time to put away your reservations. It’s time to travel.