Going “Abroad” at Home: International Travel Is Not the Only Way to See the World

by The Cowl Editor on November 7, 2019

Editor's Column

by Kerry Torpey ’20


In this week’s Cowl, there is a feature spread on the National College Media Convention, which several editorial staff members attended last weekend. 

This year, the convention was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to go to D.C. and explore our nation’s capital. To have done so alongside my fellow editors and many other student and professional journalists was an absolute pleasure.

While in D.C., we had the chance to go visit national monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. Since seeing these unbelievable structures upclose for the first time, I wondered what took me so long to get to D.C. 

In spring 2019, I studied abroad in London, England. While there, I got to travel throughout Europe, visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. As wonderous and worthwhile as these adventures were, seeing all that D.C. had to offer reminded me just how much I could experience in my own country.

Especially as college students, the prospect of traveling to distant nations and continents is exciting. For a few, it will be their first time leaving U.S. soil. For many, it is their first time experiencing complete independence, immersing themselves into new languages, cultures, and customs. 

Visiting other countries, be it for service, academics, or vacation, allows us to step outside our comfort zones and meet people from different backgrounds than our own. It is important to remember, however, just how diverse the U.S. is—there are people from across the globe of various backgrounds right here at home.

It is an incredible gift to go abroad and see the world outside our bubbles. Going to D.C., however, reminded me just how much there is to see and how many people there are to talk to right here at home. I encourage you to think of this the next time you have an itch to travel somewhere new.