Changing Lives

Katherine - san diego, California
Entered on May 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, place

I’m addicted. And it is an expensive one at that! I’m talking totally and completely obsessed. If I have free time, this is what I think about. If I don’t have free time, this is what I dream about. I am addicted to traveling, and this I believe changes lives.

I have visited over 24 countries and counting and this summer I will add on to the never ending list. It doesn’t matter that the U.S. dollar is down, or the Euro is up, I will be there for a month and enjoy every second of my trip. Whether the trip is culturally enriching or I make new friends from far away lands, every penny I spend is worth it while I am traveling.

I am only 22 years old and my addiction for travel is forever growing. Experiencing new places and people outside of my comfort zone is challenging no matter where I am, but it is what I do with that experience that helps me live my life for the better. I am extremely interested in learning how other people live their everyday lives and the differences that exist between two different cultures. Knowing that these differences are present will help me interact with people of different countries and ethnicities perpetually in my life.

The concept of traveling and it benefiting my life and the lives of others is a strong belief that I have felt ever since my gallivanting around the world with an abroad program called Semester at Sea. For four months I had the best time of my life and learned more about people and their customs than any other classroom or professor could have taught me. I now know the unforgettable smell of the Taj Mahal and how cold it can really get on The Great Wall of China.

Too many get caught up in the expenses of traveling, which isn’t the right concept to think about or even consider. Each occurrence abroad is what makes me whole and what makes me more understanding in a global world that needs to be more accepting of others. Globe trotting no matter what age I am can accomplish a supportive and tolerant community working together to create a better world for us all. The world is my classroom and learning new ideas, experiencing new places and new people from traveling is what I believe can help change my life and the lives of others.