Everyone is always saying that they want to experience new things, but when they are given the chance they often seem either afraid or act like it is no longer important to them. I believe you should travel any chance you get young or old. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Venture outside your comfort zone and do things you have always been afraid of doing. Not only will it help you grow as a person, but it will change you in ways that only traveling and experiencing new things can.
I got the chance to travel to travel to Australia the summer of my senior year in high school and looking back now, I am so glad I decided to. I was invited by a company called Down Under Sports where I was invited to compete in an international volleyball tournament. Anyone that knows me, knows volleyball is pretty much my life, so when I got invited to go play, I was going to do anything I could to pay the large expenses of flying internationally. When I first decided that I was going to be spending part of my summer on the beaches of Australia, I was so excited and would tell anyone and everyone I could. However, as the days passed by and the deadline for other girls to accept their invitations, I slowly started to learn that I was going to be the only girl that would be going to represent my great state of Ohio. I think that when the nerves really kicked in that I was going to be traveling for the first time of an airplane by myself. About two months before my trip, I learned that I would be flying on the same plane that two girls from Michigan would be, so my fears of flying completely alone were over, but they would still be sorta strangers for me since my first time meeting them wouldn't be until we got to the airport.
Looking back now, all of that were minor problems to going on a trip of a lifetime. I can still remember the feeling of stepping on the plane into the foreign country of Australia after flying 13 hours. At that moment, it really set in that I was no longer in the USA and I was about to see the world from someone else point of view. Everything was so different in Australia whether it was currency, the side of the road they drove on or how they talked. I remember going to McDonalds and looking at the menu where you could order a Kangaroo burger. I walked around this huge market place which was located behind the hotel and literally every corner you turned, there was an UGG boot store. Just walking around the market square was one of the coolest experiences just to take in all the similarities and differences of the USA. While in Australia, I was able to explore not only how the way of life was there, but I also got a chance to explore the city of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, along with sharing the sport of volleyball with some high school kids of Australia. They showed me the special little tricks that they have in their game play and just how much passion they have for the game in general. I was also honored with the chance of snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and getting to not only see it's beauty, but I also got to travel to Lady Elliot's Island and experience island life.
Traveling to Australia was just one of the many things I got the chance to check off my bucket list. I hope to one day travel to every continent of the world. I highly recommend to anyone that wants to travel, to do so. You experience so much no matter if you are there for a week or a month, just a day is all you need to feel the difference. Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. You will begin to understand that the world is both very large and very small. You will have a newfound respect for everything you may have once taken for granted. Plus you never know who you will meet along the way, you may just gain a new friend or two.