Power of Travel | Teen Ink

Power of Travel

March 23, 2008
By Anonymous

I believe that traveling to foreign countries has provided the most meaningful learning experience for me. I have become enriched with knowledge from my travels to places such as India and several European countries. Every time I have had the opportunity to explore different countries, I have learned not only the positive aspects that make up our world, but also sad components that remind me that we should constantly strive for change to make this a better world.

For instance, I have visited India on multiple occasions. Seeing as I myself am Indian, I really connect to it, especially because all of my extended family lives there. While I am there, I learn about my culture; this includes religion, unique traditions, language, social class structure and many other facets. Gaining knowledge about these cultural aspects helped put the views of my family into perspective and also helped me discover the essence of my own self. However, many bad elements also exist in India. For example, the crime rate is incredibly high and millions of people live in poverty. By observing this in person, it opened my eyes to be able to identify with the problems in this world and relate to other people’s difficulties that may be unlike the ones I face. It also created a desire within me to volunteer and help the less fortunate.

Additionally, I have been to several European countries. I knew little to nothing about the cultures of these places prior to visiting. A few of the countries I have visited are Great Britain, Switzerland, and Belgium. Furthermore, I took a school based field trip through the countries of Spain, Germany, and France. I gained an immense amount of knowledge on this field trip because we went to exciting museums, castles, and other historical sites, while also enjoying the different variety of foods. I found this experience meaningful because it allowed me to understand the lifestyles and society of their culture and consequently, I could adapt the positive attributes I found within it.

My travel experiences to these countries, which are located in distinct parts of the world, have given me a multi-perspective view. In some places, it appears that people have a minimum amount of problems, yet in other places people are struggling to survive each day. Examining all the positive and negative aspects of each country also indicates how well the government is functioning. Personally, I would like to create change in places where there is corruption and people mainly suffer because of a lack of a proper government.

In conclusion, I have learned, foremost, that although we may all seem different from the exterior because of our physical features, we are very similar and part of a much smaller world. Secondly, I can see that even though there is so much to learn from other countries and cultures, there is also much room for change and correction in this world. I would like to continue traveling and learning and one day, as Gandhi once said, “be the change you want to see in the world.”

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