This I Believe

Janna - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I embarked on a trip to Disneyland when I was seven and my life was changed. After walking around absolutely famished on one of those blistering summer days I realized I love licorice. I bought a licorice rope everyday on that trip and it’s been my treat of choice ever since! I believe that travel defines you.

It was my first trip without my parents when I realized I was stepping out of my comfort zone never to return. I LOVED it! On this trip I learned I love meeting people. One night in Washington, I met people from Peru, New Jersey, Spain, and India. From just that night I realized there are different people in the world! Sometimes we don’t believe something because we don’t see it. This is how this experience was for me. What better way to learn something than seeing it for yourself!

The best classroom is out of the classroom. Walking down the crowded streets in Paris I was miserably lost, until I opened my mouth. In some miraculous way two Parisian women understood my 3-year high school French vocabulary. I knew French, but it wasn’t until those women and I conversed that I really believed it. Think about it, who better to teach you French than people who have lived there and spoken the language all their lives! Who better to teach you about the apartheid in South Africa than someone who lived through it? Those lessons are engrained in our minds better when we are there living in the experiences. We learn from experiences and sometimes the experiences of others.

Some say the best way to learn is through teaching. When we go on trips we don’t just have to be the student. We have to be teachers too. If we aren’t willing to share our knowledge with those we are visiting why should we expect them to? I was in Mexico with cement and a leveler and not a clue how to use it. The people there had the knowledge of how to lay cement and the need to cement floors. Apart we were useless but together we could created luxury for those people in Chihuahua. Sometimes we need to go on a certain trip so we can have experiences with others where we can both learn.

If we never take the time to travel we will never find ourselves. We will never be able to test ourselves enough to find out the answer unless we do. We need to let the world be our classroom. It’s completely boggles my mind to imagine where I would be if it wasn’t for my experiences and discoveries of myself on trips. What would I be eating right now other than licorice?!