This I Believe

Sara - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I believe that everyone gains knowledge from the act of traveling.

When I was young, driving cross-country with my mother I later realized what I had seen during those few weeks had taught me about unfamiliar animals, nature, and geography. I soon became insistent on road trips and forceful about learning new things by taking simple walks or bike rides. Since then, I have always believed in traveling to guide me through life and help mold me into something I want to be.

Traveling is learning, whether it is around the corner or across the world. I am constantly inheriting information that can only be beneficial in becoming a more knowledgeable human being. I believe taking time away from the life I live everyday by placing myself in a community and culture much different than my own to understand more about the world.

When I studied abroad in Italy for a semester I was a young fifteen-year-old sophomore unclear about who I was and who I wanted to be. Although I am still seventeen years old I feel much more wise and calm from this experience. I am more grateful for my family and friends as well as gracious for the life I live and where I live it. Everyday I would learn about the Italian culture and the way that life is lived half way across the world. The struggles I dealt with made me strong and the fact that I had to concur them all by myself prepared me for the real world, where all I can truly depend on, is myself. One day after class in Italy I got on the wrong bus and had fallen asleep; when I awoke I was in another town that I had never heard of or been to. Fearing for my life and lack of my Italian speaking skills I had to be creative, friendly, and confident with my Italian to guide my way back on another bus. However, I was in no rush to return home and instead took the later bus & explored the new town eating, making friends, and lying on the beach on a sunny day. This is one of my favorite memories and accomplishments from my trip because it showed me that I could do anything that I desired to do there, by myself. Although at first this experience was scary and uneasy it was in my own control to make it comfortable and simple for myself, and I did. I cherish the time In which I experienced architectural beauty in a country other than my own, but even more satisfied with the person that trip allowed me to become.

I believe that everyone gains knowledge from the act of traveling; life is a journey that many choose to ignore by staying in one place. New experiences create new within and it is a waste of life to stay in one place and be “satisfied”. I believe in being able to expand and grow and see all that is possible: through traveling, I expand my knowledge of life and gain confidence by personally conquering difficult situations. I believe that everyone should travel and that every person deserves the right to gain new knowledge and expand his or her horizons to better the world or to find something new within them.