Ferdinand Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the world. Phileas Fogg flew around it in 80 days. Jaren Abbott is well on his way, having traveled to over 50 countries with his family.
“Every time I travel, I feel it is something out of this world,” said Jaren Abbott, a freshman studying computer information technology. “Something that’s so different and so unique because of the culture and people. I love enveloping myself in the new environment.”
Abbott’s parents began traveling soon after he was born. On average, Abbott and his family will venture out into the wide world two or three times per year.
From visiting his grandparents in China to floating the canals of Italy, or hiking among the Inca ruins in Peru and the African safari plains, Abbott has been around the block.
“Every country is really different,” Abbott said. “I love to see different cultures of people. I get to understand how people express their traditions.”
An aspiring traveler might be eager to see it all, but Abbott said it’s not about checking off a list.
“It also just is about having fun,” Abbott said. “It’s not just to say you’ve been to different countries. It’s about who you travel with and the kind of stuff you do.”
Just five months ago, Abbott returned from serving the people of Thailand during a two-year mission. He rates it as one of the best experiences he’s had.
Trying something new or venturing forth into unfamiliar territory may feel daunting. According to Abbott, it does take some effort to travel.
Rather than hopping aboard the travel train willy-nilly, it is important to be informed. Abbott said his family will plan a great deal in advance to research locations, check out cautions and get the best priced deals.
Ultimately, he said paranoia or a light purse shouldn’t stop someone from the experience of a lifetime.
“You can’t just be afraid and not go,” Abbott said. “Take a leap of faith and just do it.”