Ibn Battuta is a true icon of world travel. Considered one of history's greatest explorers, the Moroccan-born Berber scholar spent most of the 14th Century exploring Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He was not a conqueror or missionary; he sought only adventure. His epic travel log, Rihla (‘The Journey’), is essential reading for travel-lovers of all ages.
Battuta’s attitude towards travel feels so contemporary. We think about him regularly on the job, especially after Tehya, a student from New York, contacted us about her life-changing trip to Morocco that we organized for her school. Here's what she had to say:
"I had a wonderful experience in Morocco this spring break. I was able to immerse myself in a culture quite different from my own. The food was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Moroccan cuisine is fresh, well-seasoned, and delicious. We even learned how to make dishes such as tajin and Berber bread. Another great part of our excursion was our time spent in the Sahara Desert. I loved riding the dromedaries and admiring the rest desert from the top of the sand dunes. I also had a lot of time exploring the medinas and seeing how people lived. I learned, during our trip, that Muslim people must go through a process of ablution before worshipping, which surprised me because it is so different from my own experience. I greatly enjoyed my time in Morocco and I would recommend this trip for anyone seeking a mind-opening adventure. I am very thankful for this opportunity to experience another culture and broaden my worldview."
It’s no exaggeration that travel has huge educational value, especially for youths. First and foremost, it gives the young and impressionable a better understanding of their place in the world. Taking kids out of their comfort zone and into a wholly new space helps them understand and appreciate new languages, new cultural practices, new belief systems, new cuisines… the list goes on. It might be intimidating at first, but the excitement and novelty of it all will leave them wanting more! And the perspective travel inspires will pay dividends in the future.
In time, your children are no longer required to leave their comfort zone because travel is in their comfort zone. You’ve helped them make it an integral part of their lives, and that’s precious.
Travel builds character. No matter where you go – no matter how you get there – travel is a great equalizer because even the most seasoned frequent flyer is at least slightly destabilized by the ritual of uprooting and visiting a foreign land. When you give your children this opportunity, it’s like adding another tool to their Swiss Army Knife of life experience. It nurtures independence, resourcefulness and open-mindedness, all essential traits that will enrich their entire lives – personally, spiritually and professionally. Travel is a gift that keeps on giving.
Long ago, Aesop famously said that “adventure is worthwhile”. Those words are timeless. We all deserve an adventure, and travel is the best way to find one.