|Shot from last year's show. Thanks, PR Erin!|
Getting preachy about travel is apparently something I do now. Case in point, my feature for the Tufts Daily this week. As an official editor now, we are all required to write at least one weekly feature that is the headliner of the Weekender section, and I was brave and volunteered early on. The longest article I have written to date, with a pretty cool layout too that unfortunately can't translate to this blog very well.
(A PR plug: if you're in the Boston area this weekend, go to the Boston Globe Travel Show! It will be worth it, I promise.)
Boston Globe Travel Show will bring the exotic to Beantown
The Daily examines the importance of an international mindset, student travel
by Allison Dempsey
Daily Editorial Board
This weekend, the Boston Globe Travel Show will be taking the city by storm. Friday through Sunday at the Seaport World Trade Center, it costs only $10 to transport yourself to another locale, via an expo that will feature tourism boards from all over the world, advertising what their respective countries have to offer.
In fact, some of those offerings start right at the expo. Attendees can look forward to demonstrations of cultural traditions, one-of-a-kind deals and giveaways from tour companies and airlines, and live cooking shows featuring local chefs and foreign specialties. The event is expected to attract over 20,000 visitors and potential tourists.
This may not seem like the typical weekend event for college students, so the question remains: Why should we care? The Daily investigates the allure behind the Boston Globe Travel Show, what it represents and why travel should play an important part in our lives.
A weekend getaway … six miles away
On the most basic level, this is something to do on the weekend that is not trekking through the snowdrifts to get to a frat party or whiling away the afternoon in Tisch or Ginn. In the Tufts bubble, we sometimes forget exactly how close Boston is and how easy it is to get downtown, and how convenient it is to access so many interesting events going on in the city.
Additionally, no one can deny that the weather as of late has been less than appealing. As the semester progresses and the work sets in, so does seasonal affective disorder. It would be extremely difficult to find a Tufts student right now who is actually enjoying this slushy mess that we call winter.
Sinking into the February doldrums is an all-too-easy feat, so why not try to brighten up the days with the promise of adventure and foreign destinations? The show will make it possible to get from one exotic locale to the next in a matter of steps. Even thinking about traveling to places where it's warm, like Jamaica or Puerto Rico, is sure to do wonders for the spirit at this depressing time of year. The Travel Show promises to redefine "staycation."
Evoke a sense of wanderlust
It's no secret that studying abroad is a major part of many students' college careers. Prospective students pop questions about study abroad while touring colleges; before they even matriculate at their dream schools, they're already thinking about leaving them behind for a semester or maybe even a whole year.
For many people, coming to college is the first opportunity they have to go beyond the limits of their hometowns. Yes, some take gap years to travel or attend boarding school, but for the most part, college is the first extended period of time spent away from home. Whether heading to a small town or a city, leaving home for a new destination is always daunting, especially at the age of 18, when students feel like the whole world is ahead of them.
College lets students explore the boundaries of their academic and extracurricular interests, in order to determine what is actually important to them. Usually, interests exist beyond the walls of the classroom, and many students feel the need to bolster their academic experiences with real-world ones. Enter study abroad.
Once college students venture outside the boundaries of their hometowns and their campuses, those who choose to go on the study abroad adventure find themselves completely immersed in a culture unlike anything they've ever known before.
For some, this cultural immersion may be an overwhelming or an unpleasant experience: Perhaps the host family is not easy to get along with, or the culture feels oppressive instead of welcoming, or homesickness gets in the way. However, for the vast majority of students who study abroad, their time spent in a different country is a life-changing and incredible experience.
While abroad, many people get the chance to travel to places outside of their study destinations. Therefore, study abroad students not only get to experience one culture in depth, but they can also explore others, often within an arm's –— and wallet's—— reach of their new foreign home. Study abroad in Europe, and the entire continent is at your fingertips, which makes it easy to get to destinations where people wouldn't necessarily plan to go independently.
Thankfully, Tufts students all attend an internationally minded school. Since International Relations is Tufts' most popular major, and active citizenship is at the core of our mission statement, many Jumbos may feel obligated to offer themselves and their services worldwide. With these ideals in mind, there are multiple organizations and departments at Tufts that try to facilitate the process of getting students out of the country and into other parts of the world.
It is difficult to go through the motions of life at Tufts and to not be presented with the opportunity to travel: The New Initiative for Middle East Peace, a sub-group of Tufts' Institute for Global Leadership, was able to travel to the Kurdistan region of Iraq this past winter break —an unprecedented opportunity for college students.
Musically inclined students in the Tufts Wind Ensemble have visited the likes of Prague, Montreal and Costa Rica over the past few years. Twice a year, Jewish Jumbos have the opportunity to visit Israel as a part of the Birthright program. The Tisch College of Active Citizenship offers myriad opportunities worldwide for students to get involved in other cultures.
These chances to travel are often financially advantageous and provide incredibly unique chances to learn in a context unlike any other. Anyone would be remiss to not get involved in at least one of these amazing opportunities. It's almost too easy.
Words to live by
Even though the semester has just begun, and it might seem as though opportunities to travel outside of Boston's gray skies and dirty snowdrifts will never come, this weekend's Travel Show can remind you that there is a life outside this winter wasteland. If you're looking to get involved in Tufts travel opportunities but can't decide what piques your interest, check out the show for some inspiration.
With perks like bolstered intelligence, a cache of one-of-a-kind stories and a sense of worldliness discovered early on in life, travel is something that every college student should attempt to fit in to their undergraduate years.
Whether you're a freshman pondering the concept of leaving your newfound friends for an entire semester or a senior who can't stop reminiscing about the days spent abroad, the Boston Globe Travel Show will be sure to liven up your dreary winter days.
|The place that started it all.|