I had an unforgettable experience traveling to China in 2014, when my family and I went to adopt my youngest sister. I think that everyone should be able to see what being in a foreign country is like and also what it feels like to be immersed in another culture and way of living.
1. To get out of your comfort zone
To be honest, I didn't know what to expect with this trip. Although, it's safe to say that I was definitely outside of my comfort zone. This was because, I was a rather picky eater, cellular reception and Wi-Fi was hard to come by, there were few people that spoke English, and pretty much everywhere we went was crowded. Little did I know that there was much value that could be seen in each of these environmental differences. I learned to put aside my picky preferences to simply embrace these changes.
2. To educate yourself on another country's culture
I'm not much of a history buff, but it was fascinating to learn about the backgrounds of both the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. If you get the opportunity to sightsee with a local tour guide, I highly encourage you to do so.
3. To grow close to others, despite language barriers
The city of Beijing is definitely overpopulated. Without question. But I noticed that it is overpopulated with hospitable people. Even if we didn't understand every word that was being said to us, the body language gave us a clear indication that those who we came in contact with were kind and respectful individuals. This was evident in everyone we communicated with.
4. To make you appreciate what you have
It took this trip for me to witness how great we have it in America. We are truly blessed here. It was heartbreaking to see so many poverty-stricken individuals along the sidewalks of each block that we'd pass by. Despite their struggles, these people were so genuine and showed a great appreciation for life. My family, and a few other ones looking to adopt, were given the opportunity to visit a town home in the Nanchang province. A family that our tour guide knew welcomed us into their home with open arms. It was the most selfless act that I have ever witnessed. These people had never met us before, yet they were willing to provide food and fellowship for all of us.
5. To capture amazing moments
The last thing that I'll say is that, wherever you choose to go, make sure you bring a camera with you. You'll want to revisit memories from this wonderful experience.