When I was in the eighth grade, I got to go on the trip of a lifetime. I visited 8 European countries in 3 weeks, and it was an absolutely unforgettable experience. I got to visit Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, England, France, Germany, and Liechtenstein. Going on this trip broadened my views of the world and helped me understand cultures and people in Europe.

Not only did I understand other cultures more, but I also got to see different parts of the world. The brilliant architecture was something unparalleled to the buildings we have here. Every church and cathedral was so ornate and carefully planned out, versus the religious centers, we have here in America. Everywhere I looked, there was something awe-inspiring and amazing to look at. Even some of the McDonald's buildings were something to see!

Being able to see the world from a different perspective was amazing. On this trip, I learned how to become more responsible and self-sufficient, which has also really helped me through the years. My little brother, who is 15 at the moment, just got back from a 2-week trip to Germany. I did not think he would survive, or even keep up with any of his belongings for that matter because on a regular day he wakes up around 2 pm. Before he left to embark on this trip, he did not seem responsible enough to wake up every day, make sure he's drinking enough water, and stay alert to his surroundings. When he returned, however, it was like a new, more mature version of him came back.

It is really important for young people especially to conquest new parts of the world because you will become more self-aware. Being able to be more empathetic toward people from different cultures is such an important lesson to learn. Here in America, there are so many cultures around us that we don't even realize how unique each person is. Going overseas and experiencing new foods and sights will help broaden people's views and become more open-minded toward other people. So, if you haven't made your way over the American border, please consider doing so because it will change your life.