Backyards and Icy Oceans

Johnathan - Mraquette, Michigan
Entered on November 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that the best way to learn about yourself is through exploring the world around you. It can be exploring places as small as a backyard or as large as the Arctic Circle. I’ve explored both, and through those experiences I’ve grown and learned so much about myself.

Through each new and exciting experience of my childhood, I found myself discovering the person I was meant to be. Growing up, I was always outside, running through the backyards of my neighborhood. At one instance I would learn about courage as I took the role of a hero, saving my friend from a make-believe villain. Other times I would learn about the feelings of guilt and humiliation after putting a hockey puck through a car window. While growing up in backyards, I was instilled with many life lessons that are with me to this day.

I have realized that exploring unknown places are perfect for discovering myself. Traveling deep into the Arctic Circle was a perfect example of an extraordinary adventure. There, I learned about patients as I sat on a ship for days at a time with nothing to look at but icy water for miles around. I learned about meeting new people, and the importance of caring for them even when I had only known them for a few days. Learning about nature after observing polar bears, walrus, plankton and birds. My trip to the Arctic Circle taught me about the world around me as well as myself.

My parents have taught me great life lessons, but the greatest gift they have given me has been taking me on trips all over the world. These adventures have taught me so much more about the world and myself than I could ever imagine. Things like how far I can be pushed before I snap, or that I really do like to eat fish. I’ve found places that I like and places I can’t stand. After watching people from all over, I have become aware of the traits I believe are important to have and those that I can’t stand. Traveling is a passion of mine and I have been lucky enough to grow from each new adventure.

By going on both every day adventures and exploring the world, I’ve learned so much about myself that I never would have otherwise. Growing up, I learned through adventures in my backyard, and in high school I grew while on a ship in the Arctic. Traveling is one of the greatest ways I’ve used to better see myself. Exploring my entire life has helped mold me into the person that I have become today.