Traveling is something most people want to do in their lifetime. Whether it may be to take a tour of the greatest landmarks of the United States, kiss your true love on the Eiffel Tower, or take a sunny vacation in the Bahamas, all of these are experiences worth remembering. But what's most important to me is that I am able to travel while I'm young. I love having a chance to explore the world while I am still able to relate it to what I'm learning about in school. I want to take it all in and experience every single thing I encounter. I have traveled to Tanzania, and I am preparing to spend six weeks in Italy (and maybe take a few stops in other countries during my stay) and what I really want to do while I'm there is not only have fun, but gain a better understanding of the cultures I'm encountering and educate myself on the importance of learning from them. My goal is to become a global citizen, and why not make it a goal for yourself as well?
Learning from textbooks is one way to educate yourself, but when you are able to apply what you have read in those textbooks to a global setting, it's a completely different experience. You gain an entirely new perspective on what you have learned in the classroom, and you can share these new ideas with others. It's amazing what you can do once an exchange of ideas with individuals from other countries and cultures has occurred. A whole new world of possibilities arises.
This is what makes the opportunity of traveling abroad while you're young so unique. You are given a huge advantage--the world is your classroom. While in Tanzania, I toured hospitals and learned about the country's healthcare system. I want my career to be in the healthcare field, so I was able to use this setting as my classroom and apply the knowledge I gained from this experience to use with my future patients. It's all about making a difference. Your mindset changes so you think about those who have affected you on a global scale. You become more conscious about the issues happening in the world around you. This is what being a global citizen is all about.
When you become a global citizen, you truly connect with the people and places you come in contact with. It is such a unique sense of belonging that gradually develops, and you submerge yourself in the traditions and values of the cultures you are learning about so that you can fully understand how to communicate with an open mind with others around the world. It's amazing to see what you can do to connect with another human being who can't even speak the same language as you.
So why not take advantage of an opportunity if it arises? Being able to travel abroad is a blessing in itself, and this is a perfect way to taking the first steps to becoming a global citizen.