Travel during the best time of your life

Saint Augustine once wrote, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” What kind of world reader are you?

Make college the best time of your life by going beyond the partying, studying and sleeping. Fly, drive or ride somewhere interesting and exotic instead. Here’s why you should travel while you’re in college.

Travel to try new food. The U.S. may have every type of restaurant known to mankind, but nothing compares to eating food in the place of its origin. Instead of going to Japanese, Italian or Greek restaurants, eat food made in Japan, Italy or Greece. Eat and taste the other countries’ delicacies from the people who follow recipes passed down for generations.

Travel to meet new people. You may already know people from different nationalities, religions and cultures, but why not meet a Filipino in the Philippines, an Australian in Australia, or a Spaniard in Spain? Be the nagging tourist and ask directions, get lost and meet people with accents you’ve never heard.

Travel to reconnect with your roots. If you’re from Scotland, find out which clan you belong to and start planning your Scottish adventure. Or if you’re German, learn what city your grandparents came from, and explore where they met and where they grew up. Find the places where your grandparents’ childhood stories took place.

Travel to see new places. If you’ve already experienced the Grand Canyon, Times Square and Disney World, try the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall of China. Fly to France, India or China and admire a famous work of art up close, not just in a textbook.

Travel to experience a place from your favorite book. Follow in the footsteps of the characters you love and travel to that city of romance, mystery or both. The fictional characters should not be the only ones who swim near the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, who walk around the Vatican in Italy or look at the Great Pyramids in Egypt. Experience the city you were immersed in for hours.

Travel to create memories that will last a lifetime. Your time at NSU will give you lots of memories to tell your children. However, there is so much more out there. Fill a photo album with pictures from Peru, England or Brazil and tell your children about the stories, experiences and memories you received from each place.

Because of traveling, I can say I went to the bathroom on a squat pot in Thailand, ate at McDonald’s in Malaysia and swam in the Indian Ocean. But these are more than experiences I can tell people — they are memories that will always bring a smile to my face and remind me of the adventure I experienced.

If you’d like to travel and learn at the same time, you may want to go to one of NSU’s travel programs. Travel study programs are scheduled for Greece, Alaska and Ecuador this year, but if your schedule won’t allow for an overseas trip yet, plan one for 2012 and start packing now.

This is the time in your life when you don’t worry about paying a mortgage, who will watch your dog or how much time you can take off work. Some people absolutely have to worry about these things. Follow in Saint Augustine’s footsteps and read the “world book” well past the first page.

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