This I Believe

Samantha - Kinnelon, New Jersey
Entered on September 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that leaving your everyday normal life, and experiencing different cultural experiences will expand your mind set of the world, and allow you to see it for how beautiful it really is. Not only will seeing other parts of the world change the way you view things, but it will also expand your knowledge of different environments, cultures, and see the ways that other people live their everyday life. In the past two years I have had the privilege of traveling to the stunning country of Greece, and the beautiful country of Italy. Traveling to both of these historical countries taught me to open my eyes a little more, and see that there is so much more in the world than that meets the eye.

Last summer was the start of my cultural endeavor. I had the opportunity to travel to Greece for two weeks, and tour the miraculous sights and islands. It was the first time in my life that I got to see so many aged, beautiful parts of history. Not only did I get to see these incredible sights, but I got to be in the hustle and bustle of the Greek people, which to me was just as exciting as seeing the fascinating statues, and architecture. The people in Greece seemed to have such an easy going outlook on life, and see life as the beautiful gift it really is. They are so free spirited, and full of life it made self-conscience of the way us Americans live. The Greek’s, although pushy and touchy, see and appreciate all that they have, where as Americans are somewhat greedier and always wanting more.

Then, this past summer another life changing experience presented its self, and I had the chance yet again to travel to the wonderful customs of Europe, but this time I was exploring the exceptional sights of Italy. Just like Greece, Italy was full of architecture and wonderful people, but the most remembered part of the trip was the exquisite food the Italians served. Not only was the food unforgettable, but the atmosphere of being in Europe made me appreciate even more how lucky I was so experience these great cultures. Both so uplifting, and relaxed, as if they do not have a single worry in the world.

If we Americans lived as the Europeans did, we would be so much happier, and aware of how lucky we really are. After taking these trips, I was fascinated on how much my outlook on life changed. I was now recycling more (like the Europeans) and using my resources more wisely and not taking things for granted. I also took in the incredible cultures of these people, realizing that if I too lived in a loving, easy going way, that life would become more free spirited, and enjoyable.