This I Believe

Courtney - Orange Park, Florida
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Seeing is Believing

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”-St. Augustine. I believe that traveling is one of the most important things in life. I believe in learning, absorbing and experiencing a new culture besides the one in which you are born. I am fortunate enough to have traveled and lived in many places. Without the experience of traveling I wouldn’t be as opened minded, aware of my surroundings, and as appreciative of nature’s beauty.

I know some people that have lived in Orange Park their whole life and haven’t seen anything past the city of Jacksonville. Since I have been born I’ve lived in many different places. I’ve lived in Miami, Atlanta, and Huntsville, Alabama just to name a few. Each of the places I’ve lived in has taught me something different and I’ve met many different and wonderful people along the way. Moving every two years may seem like a travesty, but I believe that it has helped to make me the person I am today.

Just this past summer, I got the chance to travel to Italy. It is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. It was my first time out of the country and I traveled with only my grandmother by my side. I became acculturated with the Italian language, immense history, the different foods, mannerisms, and so much more. History books were coming to life right in front of my eyes. You can’t experience what life truly is until you travel. Traveling has taught me that life beyond Orange Park does exist. I wasn’t fully aware at how much history and culture that comes with human life. I only knew what I read in books. I believe traveling brought me to the realization that I am not the only person in the world and that life goes on beyond the United States.

Traveling within the United States has taught me a great deal about our nation. My grandparents, the past few years, have taken my family and me on a skiing trip in Colorado. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw glistening white snow caressing the Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountains left me in awe. Seeing the picturesque mountains in person were more beautiful than any picture I had seen. Skiing was also something I just watched on television and when I traveled to Colorado I actually got to ski for the first time. I believe traveling taught me to appreciate and cherish the natural beauty that the earth holds.

As the quote stated, traveling can only add memories and experiences to a person’s life and continue to make it whole, like adding pages in a never ending novel. My experiences with traveling have given me endless knowledge and made me the person I am today. I appreciate other countries, and it taught me to be self-less. Traveling also taught me to appreciate the natural beauty that the earth holds.