Why we’re traveling abroad

Photo courtesy of Choi Gyu Sun

Photo courtesy of Choi Gyu Sun

A travel agency recently reported that over 90 percent of Koreans in their twenties have traveled abroad. Why are people in this age group so eager to travel? Is it to get more life experience? Is it to broaden their minds? Six men and women were asked about their motivations to travel.

One respondent answered, “I traveled to get some rest and clear my head. When I feel exhausted, I make plans to go abroad. Then I can forget all of my distractions and be myself again.” As midterm exams are a recent memory, this sentiment is one Kangnam University students can easily relate to.

Of course, most people like to travel and make special memories with their friends. According to those interviewed, however, the most common reason people in their twenties travel abroad is because they are looking for something – something they can’t put their finger on. Another respondent said he hoped to figure it out by being in a new environment. “I wanted to experience a different culture and meet many people who think differently than I do.”

Traveling is also an effective way to see what your friends are really like. “I got the chance to understand human relationships better,” said Shin Ju Young, a 21-year-old university student. “Because of my trip I realized how much people can change when something goes wrong.”

A trip abroad can also help a person realize how much further they have to go in their personal development. According to 25-year-old student Jang Jae Young, “At first I went on a trip just to see new sights and make good memories with my friends. But after the trip I realized how important it is to have English skills. I was really impressed to see so many people live life with such passion.”

Whether it’s to have some fun or find oneself, everyone can get something out of traveling abroad. And while traveling can also reveal uncomfortable truths about yourself or people you’re with, it’s still worth doing.

Have you traveled abroad? Why did you go? What did you get out of it? Please leave a comment and share your experience.

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