Knowledge Through Travel

Summer is coming to a close. School doors open once again as students stream through them to get their formal education. One of the things that we learn is the meaning of, “the more you know, the less you know.”

We live in a complicated world. Whether it be economics or culture, there are a lot of steps and a lot of things to learn. Education as a process of learning to develop and improve our knowledge and skills is an essential part of our lives, professionally, socially, personally and emotionally. 

The ability to be able to travel easily throughout the world is a recent phenomena that allows for a vast amount of knowledge to be transferred through personal interaction. It is easy to plan your own education through travel. Pick a topic, any topic. You could visit the great museums of the world or perhaps visit the major spiritual places in the world. There are an infinite number of educational trips that can be planned.

Travel is an important part of education. I see young vintners travel from BC to New Zealand to work their harvest followed by a year in France working at various vineyard wineries and then bring young vintners home to BC to complete the circle. The education they receive allows them to become masters of their trade in a variety of settings. The same thing happens with chefs, designers, and many other professions.

A girl I know spent a month this summer doing her grade 12 English and Socials courses in Europe. Every day they visited historic and cultural places that tied to their curriculum and learned about them firsthand. She visited, reflected, embraced and wrote about these magnificent places and how they fit into our history. The places did not mean a thing to her before. They were just words on a page. She said it was the best learning experience she has ever had.

When my wife and I travel, we travel to learn about other cultures in the world. We learn about their history, food, music, theatre, language and their way of life. We make connections to our own culture which allows us to understand and appreciate other cultures. 

When we travel to other lands, we find ourselves focusing on the present and find that it is important to be humble while on our journey. Being humble allows us to more easily build positive relationships, gives us better self-control and the ability to cope with the anxiety of travel uncertainty. Most importantly, it allows us to appreciate that our Western way of life is not the best way to live and to have a good life. Travel lets us experience people’s happiness all over the world and recognize that people are living a good life in the various cultures and socio-economic levels.

Learning about other cultures gives us the ability to embrace all ways of life and not to take things we have for granted. This leads us to enjoy the small things around us; the warm wind in the evening, the sound of birds in the trees, the smell of the earth after an afternoon shower. 

Travel also teaches us to go with the flow and not sweat the little things. There are always external things beyond our control. Things go wrong with bookings, plans are changed, flights are cancelled; it is necessary to be patient and go with the flow. 

Travel is my self-education and I have found that it is the best education one can receive.