This I Believe

Joni - Oakdale, Minnesota
Entered on January 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change
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It was about 8:45 p.m. and me and some of my best friends had just taken an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. We overheard a German woman say that the lights on the Eiffel Tower were going to sparkle in 15 minutes. We all agreed that we had to be on the ground to see that happen. We found the stairs and started running. We were going as fast as we could, passing people the whole way down. Luckily, we got to the ground and about a block away just in time to see the lights start to sparkle.

Standing there videotaping this amazing sight for the friends and family we missed so much, memories from the previous three weeks I spent in a foreign country all came rushing back. And it hit me, so many Americans are culturally sheltered. I really believe that people should travel more. There is so much you can learn from the world and from experiencing other cultures. The kids that we stayed with while we were in France had been to so many other countries and had seen so much more of the world. They seemed to know so much more about life and other cultures, it was really cool! We went to France to learn how to speak the language. But I learned so much more. I learned how compassionate people can be. I learned that there is so much more to life than what I had seen in the U.S. And I learned not to judge people by their first impression. People there were a lot different from me and my friends from home, but that was the coolest part. Getting to know people who were so interesting and had such different points of view was the best part of the trip. They taught us to keep and open mind and to not be afraid to take chances and experience new things. I think taking this trip really opened my eyes and helped me grow up a little bit more. All the amazing experiences that I had while I was in France are the reason I believe that people should travel more. I hope everyone gets a chance in their life to see the world and have new experiences.