How Travel Changes People

For the past week and a half, we have had the pleasure of hosting our summer campaign, #TravelChangesPeople, on Instagram and Twitter. Our motto here at EdOdyssey, “Travel Changes People, People Change the World”, has motivated us to network with other like-minded travelers and hear their inspirational stories. 

We wanted to take a few minutes to highlight some of the submissions we received during the campaign! Study abroad alumni and travelers from areas of North America, Australia, and Europe shared the impact travel has left on them! Check out their stories below: 

Cam
One thing I’m always amazed by when traveling is instances of our shared humanity. This photo, from my time studying abroad in South Africa, was taken during a service trip to a school in one of Cape Town’s townships. During recess we played a variety of sports with students, including pick-up rugby, a South African favorite. It’s incredible to me how universal games can be, connecting people of vastly different ethnicities, backgrounds, and ways of life in moments of joy.
— Cam Ciesielski (IG: @camcski)

When I traveled to Peru to visit Corazon de Jesus, I had the opportunity to learn what ‘community’ truly meant. This will always be a memory to keep me humble and mindful.
— Eric Chapman (IG: @eric.chapman_)
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I went to visit my friend in Helsinki for the summer solstice celebration, Juhannus (or in this case Midsommar, as they’re one of the 5% of Finns whose primary language is Swedish). Within hours of arriving to their quaint home by the Baltic Sea, I was surrounded by people I’d never met before but who welcomed me with open arms. The sun never truly sets for days on end — so for days we ate and drank and celebrated life, ran from sauna to Baltic Sea, sang Finnish folk songs (well, I mostly mumbled along to the tune), and explored how despite being so different on the surface we’re all so similar at the core. A microcosm unto itself where time seemed to stop in its tracks. Not every experience is seemingly momentous, but every experience does alter your worldview — even if just a little.
— Michael Tomaino

Travel not only shows you different corners of the world, but also deepens friendships as an added bonus.
— Anina (IG: @anina_yvonne)
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Traveling has opened my mind, it has brought me a new perspective, has presented new opportunities and revitalizes me to live new experiences. It’s taught me about life more than any class can teach and allows me to meet new people with different mindsets and appreciate new places and cultures but also appreciate the place I come from. They say that the journey matters more than the destination — and what is life but a fascinating journey?
— Javi del Val (IG: @javidelvalmusic)

Traveling taught me that I’m a much stronger person than I thought I was. I’m in my early twenties, trying to figure out “adulting”, and because of traveling I have gained independence that I can use in different aspects of my life.
— Becca Mitchell (IG: @mitchell.becca)
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Before, all I wanted to do was stay at home and not be social. Once I studied abroad and once I traveled, I realized how amazing this world really is and how much you can learn by exploring. Now whenever I travel I learn something new about myself. It’s pretty funny because I always reflect back on who I used to be and laugh… Moral of this post go ahead and travel.
— Antony Navidad (IG: @antonyxn)

Traveling has changed my life by opening my eyes to all the options I can make for myself. From life styles, goals, occupations, beliefs, or new countries to visit, people love to share and I love to listen.  I’ve gotten to meet so many different people from all over. Whether I met them in their home countries or they were traveling like I was, there is always a bond I’ve gotten to develop. Because of my experiences, I’ve become more open and welcome to meeting people who are traveling to my home. Overall, traveling taught me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things no matter what other people might think of you.
— Lily Hurteau
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Congrats to our winner - Caroline!

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Travel has impacted my life greatly. It has changed me as a person by learning different cultures, meeting new people, and being given the opportunity to see a totally different part of the world.
— Caroline Gillis (Twitter: @carolinegillis5)

Thanks again to everyone who participated! We hope you have enjoyed reading others’ insights into their global experiences. Please continue to tag us (@edodyssey) using the hashtag, #TravelChangesPeople, and share your story! We’re always excited to hear all about your endeavors!