OPINION: Students should prioritize traveling over new iPhone

By Ivan Cazares

College students should do what they can to travel and get to know the world. It might seem impossible at times with bills and debt piling up, but traveling can be one of the most indispensable experiences of a person’s life. 

While one can spend a life span exploring a city like Los Angeles and never see every nook and cranny, it’s but a speck in the world.Students, especially younger ones, should jump at opportunities to explore outside of their comfort zone.

Politics aside, the world economy has made traveling more affordable than ever. 

While there are those who can’t afford anything but the bare necessities, those who are privileged enough to contemplate buying the latest smartphone every year owe it to themselves to consider spending their money on something other than a slightly shinier slab of aluminum and plastic. 

To put things in perspective, the new iPhone 11 pro can cost up to $1,999, while a four day  trip to Tokyo to celebrate my birthday cost $1,330, round trip tickets and room included. 

Unless one’s smartphone is severely damaged, or was  bought over 4 years ago, it’s unlikely that it lacks processing power or features to complete day-to-day tasks like web browsing, checking emails, navigating, calling and texting. 

A smartphone is just one example of a luxury that can be given up for the privilege of visiting a city some have  only read or heard about. 

The memory of the experience will last a lot longer than whatever new device one can think of. 

While a trip to Tokyo is an extreme example and relatively expensive, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. There are also plenty of more affordable and, or closer destinations worth considering. 

A trip to San Francisco or Las Vegas, while expensive in their own right, would be logistically easier to organize. 

These are popular destinations for LA residents, but there are plenty of lesser known experiences to be had like the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area in Nevada. 

If  San Francisco is more appealing, one could consider crossing the Golden Gate to tailgate with Raiders fans before the team ditches the bay for Vegas themselves. 

Whether it be to support a LA team in an away game or visit the hometown of their favorite team, sports fans have the most  excuses to travel and should take advantage of them. Skip out on buying a couple home games and attend an away game. 

A 2017 study by the blog site Credit.com using data from credit bureau Experian suggests that the average American dies with an average of $61,554 of debt. 

Students should take advantage of the opportunities to travel                before the great equalizer known as debt ties them down.

There are a lot of  East Los Angeles College students who don’t spoil themselves with luxuries like the latest iPhone, but rather spend their money and efforts supporting causes and giving back to the community. 

These students deserve and could benefit the most from traveling, but might consider traveling a frivolous expense. 

In a lot of ways it is. However, they should consider visiting the headquarters of an allied organization in a sister city or attending a seminar or workshop at a sister college. 

The most beneficial part of traveling is the experience                            gained, and that’s something that can’t be replicated through a screen, word of mouth or ink on a page. 

Whether the ideal vacation is eating rice balls in front of a 78-foot-tall robot, hiking the Andes or   eating a hotdog in enemy territory, students should take that vacation. 

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