Travelling – a better teacher and how travelling broadens once outlook and makes valuable experience in life
Travelling is undoubtedly a great experience in life. Those who can afford to travel should never miss to do so.And there are various types of travelling.Some travel for the sake of business,others for sightseeing,some for sheer necessity,many for seeing the wonders of the world.A few travel from a sense of social vanity.Travelling places them in a slightly superior position in the society.And this is the distinction they proudly display before others.Whatever the motive inspiring the traveller,he is bound to derive some benefits from his visits to foreign land and people.
In the past slow and unsafe means of communication stood in the way of travelling. There was also prejudice in our land against foreign travel.People crossing the high seas were threatened with social boycott.Men like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and even Gandhiji had to face bitter opposition from the people from people of their communities on account of their journeys to England.The prejudice ,however, has now completely disappeared.On the contrary people now encourage foreign travel and a widely travelled man commands great respect.
“Travelling” says Bacon, “in the younger sort is a part of education,in the older a part of experience”.The educative value of travel is also well expressed in the Shakespearean saying ” Home-speaking youths have homely wits”. Hence those who have the ability of sharpening their wits must go beyond the narrow limits of their native place and their motherland.Travelling removes one’s shyness,lack of confidence and narrow outlook. It broadens one’s outlook,produces a great measure of understanding and tolerance for others and sharpens one’s intelligence.People come to realize that it requires all sorts of persons to make the world and the beliefs and ways of life of a particular community or nation are not necessarily the best.Each nation has its own way of thought and action,its customs and manners,food and clothing and it is necessary to show consideration for them, if one wants to be friendly with other people.
Travelling is a much better teacher than books. The former speaks to all the senses,the latter only to the mind.What is seen and heard leaves a deeper and more lasting impression than what is read in books.History, Geography,Sociology, Economics and Arts are best taught through trips and tours.For instance, a trip to Fatehpur Sikri or Mohenjo Daro or Sarnth is both education and entertainment.Again book knowledge is theoretical,whereas travelling trains us in the practical side of life.It gives us courage,confidence,real knowledge of men and things.It removes narrow communal,sectional or religious prejudices.
In the middle ages and down the Eighteenth century, travelling was regarded as necessary part of one’s education in Europe. A nobleman’s son or even other well-to-do people in England would make it a point to visit Europe,to go on the Grand Tour,as they put it. Even today high diplomatic personnel in every administration consists of widely traveled people.
If education means cultivation of one’s nobler sentiments and aspirations, there is nothing that satisfies this need more than travelling.For instance, travelling gives us an opportunity of promoting international goodwill and peace. It cannot be denied that most international conflicts arise largely from ignorance.If nations know one another intimately, most of the misunderstandings are likely to disappear. In course of time ,the gulf between the various cultures will become narrow and a sort of international culture may spring up. What can be more educative than to see and realize by means of travelling, how different people look at different problems and how a common way of thinking can be evolved.
Today there are greater opportunities for travelling that ever before in the past. One can go round the world in a few weeks. Air services are cheap enough for men of ordinary means also. People can take advantages of these services and can see as much of the world they like. This is particularly necessary in the world of today when so much false propaganda,hatred and tension prevail against one another.