My family, an amazing, supportive group of people, is awfully reluctant when it comes to one thing—stepping outside of their comfort zone. My parents, from a young age, were taught to follow a strict set of morals and values that have been passed down through many generations. That rigid path they clung to made them hesitant to explore beyond their limits, ultimately restricting them from trying new things; this is where my role as an adventurer plays into my family.

As I was growing up, my parents would only eat traditional Indian food, as they were unaccustomed to the new way of life in America. When I started preschool, I became aware of the different types of food that existed and gained exposure to various cultural groups, each different from my own. Every day, I would come home to my parents, ecstatic to tell them about the unfamiliar food I tried at school that day— ranging from pad thai to enchiladas to warm apple pies— and the cultural events everyone at school celebrated. As I spoke to them about the experiences different cultures had to offer, they became more willing to step out of their boundaries and embrace what life had to offer.

As a family, we no longer only celebrate our own culture, but also appreciate other cultures' festivities. Now, whenever we decorate our Christmas tree, I smile to myself, happy that my family has become more open-minded and it's all thanks to me.