FROM THE EDITOR

Making Spring Travel Plans
Traveling is the best way to get out of your comfort zone and invites you to experience life in different ways. It’s more than seeing the sights, there is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, that affects your ideas of living.

It’s that time of year when I start planning next years big trip. I have taken each of my children abroad for a trip before they are done with high school. Besides it being a last chance for a “family vacation” trip before they go off and begin their lives, it’s an opportunity to see how others (not Americans) live and broadens their perspective.

My Top 4 Reasons to Travel:

1. Get out of your comfort zone. Traveling abroad, especially if they don’t speak the same language, can be scary and uncomfortable. But that is when you learn the most. It teaches you to connect despite differences, navigate foreign environments. Which leads to:

2. Traveling Builds Confidence. As you conquer obstacles, whether public transit or simply going to the grocery store, this builds confidence than can lead to moving across the state or the country where you have no family, friends, or connections. You realize you CAN do things, and what was once an obstacle is now a challenge.

3. Develop Cultural Sensitivity. This is key in our globalized world. It helps you look for underlying values that can explain a culture. It helps us understand national issues and conflicts better, and can help with communication on both a personal or business level.

4. Offers ways to build your network. Once you have travelled abroad you realize people are generally very friendly and love to talk about their home and culture. This may not always be the case, but more often than not it is. Every place I have been resulted in a long distance friendship. And these are easier to maintain now with social media. Friendships can make a big world seem a little smaller and help you feel connected wherever you go.

Even those with disabilities can travel, it just takes a bit more work. Sites like B list accessible places all over the world. And groups like Trips R Us handle details an offer safety for people with intellectual and developmental challenges. Travel is for everybody!