College students, curious and energetic, love traveling; summer and winter vacations provide them with golden opportunities to travel. There are two major modes of travelling--traveling by oneself or traveling in a group organized by travel agencies.
Those two patterns offer different travel experiences, with respective advantages and disadvantages. For the solitary traveler, the greatest advantage is freedom. He is perfectly free to choose his itinerary and plan his schedules, thus he can visit whatever his curiosity leads him to and contemplate over a historical site or a cultural relic for as long as he desires. The trouble is he cannot share his perceptions and excitement with any partners. Moreover, it is time-consuming and difficult to buy train tickets and look for accommodations and in emergency situations an individual traveler is largely helpless. Those problems are non-existent for group travelers because travel agencies take care of everything. Within a group, people who used to be strangers soon become friends. However, the fixed itineraries and tight schedule prevent travelers from satiating their individual curiosities. In addition, tourists are often subjected to forced shopping by tour guides who are more concerned with securing commissions than providing services.
According to UNESCO's Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), all forms of social customs and habits, folklore, performing arts, rituals, oral traditions, festivals, traditional crafts and various knowledge and practices about nature and universe can be classified as intangible cultural heritages. As a country consisting of a great diversity of ethnic groups and with time-honored history and civilization, China abounds in intangible cultural heritages. Cultural heritages connect modern people with the historical past, allowing them to acquire a cultural and historical identity. Without cultural heritages, we would be rendered absolutely rootless and we would find it hard to cope with challenges at present and in the future.
However, the modernization process poses mounting threats to intangible heritages. Many people have a blind faith in the latest electronic devices. It is also pathetic to see elderly people in possession of such legacies pass away without transmitting them to the younger generation. Faced with those challenges, we should both preserve and renovate our ancestral heritages so that we can help contribute to the cultural diversity of the world and return to our spiritual homeland in this age of impersonal science and technology.
My solution to these two imperfect modes of traveling is to travel with friends or classmates. This pattern incorporates most of their advantages while avoiding all their disadvantages. I am convinced this is the best and most sensible form of traveling which everybody should adopt.