What the classrooms can never teach you

Being young has its taxes. We are all often stuck in a rut, and examinations dominate our lives for the major part of our youth. From school to college and beyond, learning and education see 'tests' taking centre stage, and by the time we are done with taking every possible exam, we end up realising that we're barely left with any time to do all that we had once dreamt of.


Among all the dreams that we have in our childhood, traveling is one that holds a near-mystical aura for most of us. Interestingly, it is traveling that has the potential to be a great teacher. Education is not all about the conventional books-to-scores structure that we all have followed since time immemorial. Often, learning blooms in the unlikeliest of places – on a trek up a quaint hillside, sitting outside a tea shack in a distant village, and even in train journeys anywhere across the millions of miles of rail tracks scattered across the world.

Often, learning blooms in the unlikeliest of places

As we often fail to grasp, traveling can open up great horizons and free up minds from myriad tensions. The intermingling of cultures, exposure to new languages, music and culinary habits teach a lot – getting accustomed to different habits of people, accepting history, broadening perspectives, and most importantly, calming us down to give us the crucial ability to think rationally. These, in turn, affirm that we do not act in haste when making pivotal decisions.

For instance, when we are at the brink of our school and college lives, we often fail to fathom the implications that our present decisions will have on the rest of our lives. Despite having followed a certain branch of studies till date, our true calling may actually lie in something completely different. It is also at this time that our quest for wisdom and knowledge is infallible, and we aim to know more about the great things we read in books or on the Internet.

It is travel that ties up all the ends. Taking a solo trip will leave you on your own, and you will fend for your own opinions, learnings and observations, and make experiences that open up minds beyond limited insights. Traveling takes us away from our shelters and leaves us in the open, which is the very best way of meeting new people, making new conversations and mating new ideas that can potentially alter our attitudes. It is exactly this that makes taking a solo trip right before making your biggest, life-changing decision one of the best things that you can possibly do.

You may think that the fear of having done something that may not be your field would hold you back from taking the trip, but in hindsight, you will smile fondly and look back at the very first tour where you truly evolved as a person – that tour, that may have just made you who you potentially can be.