This I Believe

Abbey - Acworth, Georgia
Entered on April 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: community
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Luscious jungles, playful monkeys, gorgeous beaches, mariachi bands. Of course, this isn’t any place in the United States. These are things I have seen with my own eyes, me, a short 7th grader who loves gymnastics, talking on AIM, and especially, traveling. Yes, I have been to different states like Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Delaware, and many more, but I am also fortunate enough to have been to many of the world’s amazing countries, like the Bahamas, Costa Rica, St. Lucia, England, and soon Turks and Caicos. Traveling is great for anybody, and I encourage every one to splurge at least once and take your family on an adventure they’ll never forget!

Traveling the world helps you see how the other half lives, and teaches you to appreciate what you have. It also shows you that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, yet people living there think they have it all. They are poor, but you will still see families eating together, playing together, and especially laughing together. I know everyone has heard the saying “Never take anything for granted,” and you’ve probably heard it so many times that you ignore it, but you can’t ignore sayings like this. I love this saying, and traveling has really helped me understand it.

I have had many experiences seeing how much I should be grateful for. I have seen tiny shacks used as homes in Costa Rica and homeless people laying on the wet asphalt in England. When I was in St. Lucia, my family was on a tour and kids jumped into the water by the boat dock. They were saying “Throw money in, we dive down and get it for you.” It was so sad to see those kids because their families are so desperate that they will dive many, many feet just to get a fraction of the money that we have. These people don’t know it, but they have almost nothing. But maybe to them, nothing is a whole lot more than what we, being very fortunate, think.

Traveling also exposes you to new customs other places have. You learn new languages, meet new people, and eat new food! Traveling to somewhere with a language other than English is a challenge. It is hard to pick up what locals are saying, but you learn, which could come in handy later in life. The people are so friendly and willing to help anywhere, because they know you aren’t from around there, and they want to make sure you’re comfortable in their home. To me, the food is so strange, but exciting. It is so cool to try something new for a change. Instead of eating chicken nuggets and fries, take a bite into gallo pinto, a traditional Costa Rican dish, and you’ll be in heaven! Being in a new place, that looks different and has different people, might be scary at first, but soon you will get used to it and be able to relax!

Traveling is great for relaxation, adventure, and story telling! You will see and do things you’ve never experienced before that will give you a rush of adrenaline! Guests will be entertained with funny, scary, and interesting stories from your fascinating trip! It is almost impossible to come back from an exotic country and not have a single story! Your vacation may only last a week, but the memories will last a lifetime!

I feel very fortunate to have traveled to Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean! I have had a new and fresh look on life in each country I’ve visited, and each one teaches me more. Seeing poor families and homeless individuals really makes you think about how fortunate you are. Make the best of your life because you can’t choose how you die, but you can choose how you live. This I believe.