Glenne Fucci, Regular Contributor August 8, 2015
Instagram hashtags have a peculiar way of expanding far beyond the picture they’re associated with -- #havepassport #willtravel has seemed to grow in such a way. A few days ago I was on a flight, flipping through the airline magazine, when I spotted an advertisement that read, “have kindle, will travel.” A few pages later there was the same line used for a credit card and for a number of other products (as if any of those things are as indispensable as a passport). It seems like some clever ad executive has taken a simple hashtag and turned it into the universal “see the world” advertisement. But why?
Why should we travel when we can stay within the comfort of our own communities?
Traveling is hard and scary and intimidating, so why put ourselves through that.
The answer is quite simple really; we have passports. So we will travel. Because we can. Our passports are the key to other lands, other people, other cultures, and other worlds -- that’s pretty special if you think about it. I recently spent a few minutes in North Korea (yes, it’s possible if on a tour) and was struck by how truly unique the opportunity was. The folks up North don’t have the same privilege to move freely about the world, to experience all the special things the earth has to offer. We should take advantage of being able to explore the world, simply because not everyone is permitted to do so.
image via popsugar.com
That being said, exploring new places can be really hard. The planning can be time-consuming, and it can be quite expensive. Once there, it may be difficult to navigate, the food may be interesting (meaning weird), and the locals may speak a different language and use a different alphabet. All of those challenges though are totally worth it when you have that one blissed out moment at an uber beautiful, remarkable place. In fact, as I write, I am sitting at Bondi Beach in Australia, and, despite having a stressful journey here (visa woes, third world country airport layovers and delayed flights), the view is so spectacular that those stressors pale in comparison.
Now traveling is also often complicated; street names are written in foreign characters, menu items are indecipherable, and Google Maps may not be readily available. But we shouldn’t let our fears or insecurities about the unknown hold us back. More times than we anticipate, we find ourselves in places that share many similarities to our own communities. We realize that despite our many cultural differences, we humans share many of the same wants, needs, and desires. They may be the strangest of qualities, but seeing ourselves and our hometowns thousands of miles away from home may be oddly comforting and reassuring. This realization is all the more reason we should fearlessly head off in exploration.
If, however, you’re still not convinced of the wonders that await, know that the feat of technology will always keep you connected to home (if you want it to). Facetime, iMessage, and Facebook will all ensure that you’ll receive encouraging words and love from friends and family back home. Also, don’t be ashamed if, on occasion, you need to check out from the kimchi (or any other foreign food) and do something that reminds you of home. I will fully admit that I made American popcorn, put on my college sweatshirt, and binge-watched One Tree Hill once or twice (okay, five times) since I began living in Korea ten weeks ago.
So go out and fearlessly adventure the world; home and all it’s amenities will await your return.
Be brave, be strong, be an explorer, and learn so much along the way. You have a passport, you will travel, and you’ll return with so many stories to enrich those around you!
Do you have a passport? What has been your favorite adventure thus far? Tell us below!
Glenne is a third year law student hailing from NYC, University of Michigan ‘13 grad and Beyonce enthusiast. Currently residing in Korea, her interests include duathlons/triathlons, traveling near and far, documentary films, consuming sugary cereal, watching mid-2000s teen dramas and singing my heart out at Betty Who concerts. You can watch her attempt to navigate Asia and beyond on Instagram @glennefucci.
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