“Traveling ensures that we aren’t missing out on anything in regards to the process of life.” A Travel Chat with an English Major.

by Janis on June 8, 2014

Megan Bryde

Traveler Interview:  Megan Bryde 

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Megan has been attending Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri which is where she currently resides.

Yearning for opportunities to grow, Megan continuously seeks experience that help her thrive in life. Currently she is a barista making coffee for the good people of Kirksville but hopes to move beyond a small town atmosphere.

Travel opportunities have broadened Megan’s horizons, and have impacted her life in many ways that merely reading a book cannot.

We wanted to learn more about Megan’s travel insights and her thoughts on the benefits of travel.

The Jones: What inspires you to travel?

Megan: Honestly, the opportunity to grow as a human being.

Many times I have found that the experience of meeting new people, new cultures, new food, is more of anything that anyone can learn from a textbook or a silly list online that says “ten things that Bosnians and Americans have in common”.

Just by meeting someone from a different culture – watching how they interact and socialize – is an opportunity to learn who you want to be because it exposes you to something new, and something palatable.

Have you always enjoyed travel? What contributed to your love of travel?

My familyNo. When I was a little kid, my family would take these car rides from Kansas City, Missouri to Lima, Ohio and the trip would last 13 hours instead of the 8 hours it was capable of being.

The trip only took so long because we had five kids under the age of 8. That was the only time I hated it.

Otherwise, my family always made an effort to take a vacation every year when I was younger. What did contribute to my love of traveling was that, one year, we deviated from our Ohio plans and visited some family in South Carolina.

This was the first time I had seen the ocean, been in an different climate, saw intricate colonial architecture, and I even got to watch my sister get stung by a jelly fish. It was fantastic – not the part where my sister was stung – but my eight-year-old self couldn’t get enough of my surroundings.

The same feeling happened when I went on a choir tour in Boston, Massachusetts. I could not get enough.

Just recently, have I had my first-time-out-of-the-country experience to Austria, Hungary, and Germany on another choir trip.

The reverberations from the numerous cathedrals that we had sang in will ever evade my memories. The short ten days that I spent among those countries were such a tease that it seems that a lot of my daily thoughts center around getting out of America, and into countries whose ancient, musty cultures will forever have an impact upon my being.

What is your favorite destination?  Why?Festung         

The Hohensaltzburg Castle, in Salzburg, Austria.

It lies on top of the Festungsberg, which is just a small little hill. Not only is it’s incomprehensible beauty absolutely archaic, but the town that surrounds the palace still emits the same road structure that it had used back in 1077 C.E.

These roads I got lost in. There is a longer version to this story. It includes me deviating from the group, getting lost, running like a mad person to a taxi, to get me to my train – otherwise an absolute mess.

But, this place is the only place where I panicked, and got lost in all of my ten days in Europe. I suppose it is my favorite destination because of that memory, and the fact that I tried so hard to be not too interested in my surroundings, but my mouth kept opening in awe. It was inevitable.

What destination has surprised you the most, either good or bad?

Hmmm, Ich vermute. I suspect the place that surprised me the most, or, at least definitely perplexed me the most, was a church in Wien that had mixed very modern art over the ancient beautiful architecture. Literally.

To me, it was if a little kid took a carton of Crayola markers to the Mona Lisa and decided that he could do a better job than Leonardo Da Vinci. The story was that the church had chosen a modern artist to incorporate the modern era into the old. To me, if I was a member of the church, and the artist decided to paint whatever he during the week, and I came back to find it there for Sunday mass, I would be devastated – mortified even. I would be yelling, “What did you DO to our beautiful church?”

The priest there, however, explained the project, and that it took to some getting used to when it was done.

Suddenly, the art grew on me. I decided it was not so bad. That was a learning experience.

Why do you consider travel important?         

You can learn more about yourself. Simply.

You plan, you budget, you watch other people, you eat differently, you find out what you like and what you don’t.

Traveling ensures that we aren’t missing out on anything in regards to the process of life.

From your travels, do you have a practice or insight that makes your travel experiences more enjoyable?

Being polite and patient will get you farther than not being so. Tone of voice is everything.

Remember that you are a guest in all of your traveling. That has helped me in more situations than I know, even with people visiting America. Politeness helps with language barriers and cultural differences across the U.S. and countries around the world.

What have you learned about yourself from your travels? Share your own insights in the comments below!

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