OPINION: Traveling is important for personal development


Americans took 1.7 billion trips for leisure and 455 million for business in 2015. Those trips generated $141.5 billion in tax revenue, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s “U.S. Travel Answer Sheet.”

Beyond the money spent on the trip and the time spent planning it, however, traveling is important when it comes to developing as a person.

Fortunately, I have had the privilege of experiencing this firsthand as I have been able to travel many times throughout the years. My experience from traveling has taught me to be independent and has given me a perspective I would never have imagined without it.


When a person travels, there are many aspects of accountability he or she faces throughout the trip. If you are flying to travel, one of the major responsibilities is simply getting to the airport in time for your flight.

Forbes has predicted that 310 million passengers will be late for their flight this year. Data also shows that this number could be linked to the high percentage of on-time departures, according to a July 2015 Forbes article titled “Airlines’ 40 percent failure rate: 850,000 passengers will arrive late today – and every day” by Dan Reed.

Another part of flying that a person must be accountable for is the security process. When traveling, you must be cognizant of Transportation Security Administration regulations and pack accordingly.

For example, you are not allowed to go through security with a firearm. All firearms must be in a hard case and checked at the ticket counter. Security officials across the U.S. found 2,653 firearms in passengers’ luggage in 2015. Of those firearms, 82.8 percent were loaded, according to the TSA.

Traveling takes a great amount of responsibility and forces people to be accountable for every leg of their trip.


I also believe that traveling has really helped to shape the way I think of the world. Although most of my trips have been in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, I have come to learn that everyone views the world through his or her own perspective.

One of my more rewarding traveling experiences occurred 10 years ago when my family visited Tulum, Mexico, just south of Cancun. While our resort was extravagant, there were places we explored that were the complete opposite.

Nearby was a town in severe poverty. As a little kid, seeing that kind of poverty is a hard concept to process. Knowing there was little we could do long term, we gave a group of children a basket of necessities and then went on our way.

I still remember the child’s face when we gave him the basket. Traveling allowed me to gain a different perspective on how people who are less fortunate than me live, and it encouraged me to always help others in need.

When I travel, my main intention is to learn. Traveling has taught me that each city and country has a unique culture and a different set of values.

Over the years, traveling has helped me to develop as a person. It has helped me become more aware of what’s going on in the world and has created memories that I will never forget. If you have the opportunity to travel, definitely don’t turn it down. You never know what fun lies ahead.