For many years, all I wanted to do was explore what life had to offer and I thought that my answer would be found in traveling. Ever since I was a little girl I had a list of places that I must see if I ever had the chance. I have always been open to the idea whether it simply be exploring major cities, a different state, or a different region of our country. I have always been intrigued with the fact that each new place offers a unique experience because each place offers its own distinctive culture. I have always been interested in the many places and cultures that can be found when traveling. Traveling has allowed me to broaden my horizon, and it has made me more open minded about many things. I have had the opportunity to go to Europe many times. Each country offered a different experience. My first international experience was going to Germany. At first it was scary, but I am glad that I did not let fear get in the way of great opportunities. After Germany, I became eager in seeing what the world had to offer. Four trips later and I have been to countries including Germany, Italy, Ireland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Traveling, in itself, has been a life changing experience for me and I knew from my first time abroad that it was something that I wanted to continue to do.
I would like to thank my parents and everyone who has supported me in allowing me to live out my dream of exploration. Although it seems like I take things for granted at times, I am extremely thankful for the many opportunities that I have had to leave Maryland, the state that I have spent my entire life in, because I have learned a lot from my experiences. Going out and experiencing different cultures first hand has allowed me to become a more well-rounded and open-minded person. Not only have I learned about the cultures and people that I have been surrounded by, but I was also able to grow as a person.
Being away from home and in a different environment from what I have grown up in and have been accustomed to has allowed me to gain the independence that I have been searching for. It’s great that I always have the resources that I need when I am home, but when I am traveling with a group of students we have to get to figure things out for ourselves which is sometimes difficult because we are used to not taking complete control of everything since we are dependent on other people.
Traveling has also allowed me to gain a sense of confidence. It takes a lot to get around an area that one isn’t familiar with especially when in a new environment and when there is a language barrier. I think I gained a certain confidence because I typically keep to myself, but have learned that it is okay to step out of my shell to ask for help from others. Going out of my comfort zone in asking for help has allowed me to feel accomplished because without the help of others I may have never been able to experience what it was I was looking for.
If you are looking for an opportunity to gain the independence and confidence that you have been searching for, I would highly recommend taking a break from your everyday routine and life and explore by any means necessary. If you have the chance traveling is a great way to find what it is that you are looking for. You will learn from your experiences, but most importantly this time will allow you to grow as a person.