Find someone older than you and ask him or her, “What is one thing I should do while I am young?” One of the answers you will get most frequently is to travel. So go now while you still can. It will only get harder to travel with a family and career responsibilities.
Learn a new language
No matter how much you study a book, learning a language is still difficult. The best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in the culture. Go to another country and live with the people.
The things you eat while traveling will boggle your mind. You’ll eat things you just can’t get anywhere else and you’ll never forget the food and the people you met while dining. Daniel Cooley, a senior in business from Washington, recounts the food he tried while in Tepic, Mexico: “I tried a dish called ‘siete mares,’ it is a spicy soup with tons of different types of seafood including fish, octopus, shrimp, and shark.”
Continue your education
There are dozens of study abroad programs or internships that allow you to continue your education while seeing the world. BYU Jerusalem, BYU-Hawaii Career Connects, and other organizations make it possible to accomplish two important life goals at once: traveling and education.
Employers like to see that you are culturally aware and have had “real life” experiences. If you were able to leave home and travel, you more than likely are responsible and mature enough to quickly adapt to different situations. Alexis Wood, a senior in social work from Oregon, spent two months this past summer working and living in Italy. “The best part was getting paid while I got to experience another culture first hand. Because I lived in a smaller city, no one spoke English and I got to really immerse myself in their way of life.”
There is a lot to learn from the world. Amber Mozo, from Hauula, just returned from visiting 13 countries with her family. “I would tell young people to travel now because there’s so much out there in the world that will change your life. Traveling changes your perspective on everything. I never look at anything the same now. It’s incredible how much traveling can teach you,” said Mozo. “You’re exposed to so much and seeing how other people live makes you appreciate everything you have. The highlight of my trip was definitely Africa. It taught me how simple life can be and how happy people are with so little.”
Wherever you choose to go, you will find opportunities to serve others. Whether you go on a service-based trip or you are more into sightseeing, there will be people to help along the way. “One time I was in Marseilles, France, and it was in the middle of the night. I was waiting at the train station and it was freezing cold,” said John Olszowka, a BYUH employee from Hawaii. “There was a family that wasn’t dressed properly for the cold, so I offered my gloves to them and they accepted. The opportunity to give service was special.”
You will never forget the unique experiences you had traveling the world. Patrick Macy, an international student advisor at BYUH, recalls his first trip outside the United States, “When I played rugby for BYUH, we played in the 1978 South Pacific Tour and New Zealand was one of my favorite places we visited because it was a televised game that featured the top two players in the world.”
It’s not as expensive as you think
You just can’t put a price on the experience. Yolanda Yang, a junior in marketing from mainland China, remembers her time abroad, “I really loved Australia. I lived by the city and the coast for about a month. I loved how relaxed the lifestyle was. I went as an exchange student, so it was really affordable.”
See that place you always dreamt of exploring
“When I was in high school, I studied the Louvre Museum in France and ever since I have wanted to go there,” says Daniela Cruz, a senior in social work from Mexico.