When my mom made me fill out the forms for the school to go to Greece in eighth grade, I was not enthused. I had tried to get out of it anyway that I could. I was not interested in going to Greece or seeing what their culture offered me. I think that it was partly because I didn’t have a very good appreciation of life or the appreciation for an experience like that and the other part was money. I didn’t want to have to make my family worry because I knew it would be very expensive. However, after our first layover on the way there, I was ecstatic. We hiked over 84 miles in the ten days that we were there and I saw the most beautiful sunset I think I may ever see in my life. I felt like a whole new person when I came home. I believe that to truly live and even understand someone the tiniest bit, you need to experience the way they live and ultimately, to travel.
I believe that travelling and living in a different culture, even for a short period of time, helps to shape people. I know it did for me. I believe seeing things that I would not be able to see on a normal basis will stay with me for the rest of my life. Doing these things gives you more tolerance and more knowledge. I believe it instilled more love into my life and into my heart to have that experience. Without this experience I would not have the respect for other cultures that I have today even though I have experienced only very few. I have more of an open mind and more tolerance and respect for things even when I don’t necessarily agree and I believe that going to Greece opened up the chance that I could build that ability within myself. Without respect or knowledge of other kinds of cultures and countries and experiences, I would be ignorant, anyone would be. When we don’t have the power to agree to disagree or learn from each other, that is when the world will lose control. I believe that experiencing this gave me the power to instill some wisdom and will to learn and explore into someone else’s life as well. I believe that experiencing different cultures and travelling is one of the best things I may ever be able to do in my life.
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