Traveling is your time to shine. Nothing is spoon-fed to you. You make the calls and the decisions, which allows you to express your individuality. Although this skill may not seem important initially, expressing your individuality allows you to discover who you are, what you're good at, and what things you want the most in life.
Traveling teaches you to not just accept, but also to embrace who you are. Traveling has taught me that I am a complete foodie. I will walk three miles out of whatever city I'm in for the highest rated food. In Paris, I made us take the metro to a random corner of Paris simply for a highly recommended macaron shop (FYI: it was worth it).
Travel also reinforced my love of planning and research. I love a good itinerary and schedule. In my opinion, nothing is better than taking the time to research the best sites and make sure I get the most out of my time in any city or time. Before every trip, I spent hours upon hours pouring over Pinterest and Internet articles, scouring for the best and cheapest things to do.
Knowing what makes me unique while traveling ultimately helped me realize what I value in a job. I value jobs that include planning and independence. I loved playing the ‘tour guide’ and taking my friends to all the amazing restaurants I looked up before. It helped me realize that I love helping people have a good experience, and simplifying the process for them. These introspective gains have ultimately helped me refine my career and job goals, and ensure that I will apply for jobs I am most qualified to do given my unique set of personality traits.
Although traveling independently can be scary at times, it can be the push you need to discover who you are and what you thrive at. Whether you’re studying abroad or studying on Calvin’s campus, make sure to take risks and make mistakes. Experiences like these are guaranteed to make great stories and set you apart from your peers around you for when you need to apply for your dream job and explain ‘why you’re different from the rest.’