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Gain perspective on life: Go travel

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The Mendenhall River near Juneau, Alaska. Photo by Joseph Acquafresca

Many people at the college age haven’t seen the world around them. 

With a global pandemic at hand, this can be seen as a recommendation to do after this pandemic ends, but if you can travel safely, do so by all means. 

Although unfortunate, it is not too late. You face a lot of setbacks when trying to travel as a student. Whether it be getting days off, personal finance, or organizing; it can be a pain. 

But I’m here to tell you it is well within your reach. 

When hearing the term “travel,” we often think straight to places like Europe, Australia, or the tropics. People tend to disregard the fact that we live in the best state in America. One of the only places where you can ski and surf on the same day, California is home to the most national parks in the country, with nine. 

Growing up in the Central Valley, people around me seemed oblivious to California’s beauty, for good reason, being that we could barely see the mountains two months out of the year. 

My experience with travel is based around “what can I do with the cheapest amount possible,” which I think many may relate to. If you have a strong desire to travel, you can see a lot for just $100 in one weekend. Hostels and campgrounds provide great ways to visit cities comfortably, all while meeting interesting people from different countries or states. 

A great way to find a job in a different part of the country over the summer or winter breaks is coolworks.com. I found a job in Alaska using this, and many others have found their passion using websites like these that offer interesting jobs in beautiful parts of the world. 

It also makes you a much more adept, knowledgeable human. Seeing things you don’t see every day in a different country, state, or even county, can make you much more understanding of other people’s situations, and gain perspective on other cultures. 

On a personal level, I was lucky enough to grow up helping my dad with his business of Lowrider Clothing, traveling the states and to New Zealand, and realized how different the environment I grew up in was from others. 

As for the last two years of my life, I’ve worked in Alaska and Los Angeles, taking in completely opposite cultures. I personally believe these kinds of experiences make you a much improved writer, and a more creative individual.  

There’s always going to be some old person telling you, “Travel while you’re young!” I mean, it’s pretty redundant, and I was the first person to roll my eyes at something like that, believe me. But here I am, a 20-year-old, telling you that you should travel. It changes your life. 

Next thing you know, you’re going to be married, with the possibility of kids holding you back from traveling. 

A very wise man once said, “you only live once,” and I think we can all take a little bit from Drake’s guidance. Go plan that ski trip to Mammoth.

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