My First Trip Overseas (& Why You Should Travel Too)
In April of 2016, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to Europe. Specifically, the countries of France and Switzerland. Leading up to the trip, feelings of nervousness and excitement twisted together to create the usual anxiety that preempts every trip I take. However, I knew that the small bit of fear I faced would mean nothing in comparison to the memories I would make and the ways in which my perspective would be changed by this trip.
If there’s one thing I can say about the tiny portion of Europe I visited, it’s that almost every square inch of each place you visit demands the attention of your camera; meaning that you can’t get every shot while still keeping up with the tour group (even though a few of us did get left behind in Geneva because of our obsession with getting every single shot...oops). HOWEVER, despite the lack of time I felt I had to get all of the pictures I wanted, I still got maaaaany shots that I was happy with. I found for a trip such as this one, I felt the most comfortable carrying around a smaller camera instead of a big DSLR. All of the shots scattered throughout this post were taken with a Canon PowerShot G16 which I found to be an amazing compromise between a DSLR and a traditional point & shoot. I hope you enjoy looking at these shots as much as I enjoyed taking them :)
Perhaps the most important aspect of traveling (apart from the gorgeous photo ops) is the experiences you gain and the ways in which those experiences enhance your compassion for people in countries that seem so different from your home. I once saw a quote by Mary Anne Radmacher that says, “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” As dramatic & cheesy as that sounds, I think anyone who has had the opportunity to travel somewhere far (or not so far) from home will agree. I believe that one of the most important things you can do is travel. Whether it’s two hours away from home or on the opposite side of the planet, leaving the comforts of home to experience something so vastly (or not so vastly) different from home teaches you the values of human connection, going outside of your comfort zone, and appreciation for cultures that are not your own.
In closing, I would like to encourage you to think twice about buying that new shirt you just have to have and instead consider putting that money toward an experience. At the end of the day, (although being guilty of buying that shirt instead of saving my money), I am a firm believer in investing in experiences instead of stuff. Having more stuff won’t change you as deeply as experiences will. Seizing experiences will provide you with a sense of wisdom and compassion that you will carry with you throughout the rest of your life.
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