The Life Itself

Can - Wheeling, West Virginia
Entered on March 31, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, place
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

A week before Thanksgiving Day of 2008, I left my boarding school campus in Wheeling, WV to visit some colleges in Boston. Just for the sake of adventure, I didn’t want go to Boston by a plane; instead I planned a long bus trip. Plus, being an international student doubled my excitement and curiosity. I had to take 4 different buses since there was no direct bus to Boston. On my way to Baltimore from Pittsburgh, the driver got lost in the middle of nowhere. It was 11 at night when he announced, “Yo, I’m a city boy, I ain’t no country boy. I have no idea where the hell we are now.” He drove around for 2 hours and then found the way to the bus station in Baltimore. However it was too late for me because I had missed my connection bus to New York City where I’ve never been to, and there was no bus to Boston or NYC until morning. They suggested me stay on the bus which was going to go down to Washington where there was a bus to NYC every hour. So I stayed on the bus, which was probably the most right decision I could make.

Five hours later, I was in NYC bus station and I had barely missed the bus that I was supposed to take. But no worries, another bus was going to leave an hour later. I was starving and I had an hour to kill, so why not go out and eat? Right after I got out of the bus station, I was stunned. It was freezing outside but what I was shocked at the tall buildings, the loud music and traffic noise and a Hispanic taxi driver, who said, “Welcome to New York, my friend”. I had no idea the bus station was in the heart of the city. It was 3 in the morning but everywhere was glowing. After I ate, I returned inside and waited for my bus to Boston. Finally, I arrived in Boston at 9:00 am and took the subway to get to the campus of one of the colleges I was going to visit. The overall time of the trip was 21 hours with 4 hours of sleep. Actually, I could have flown from Pittsburgh and arrived in Boston in 1.5 hours but where would the fun be in that? Thus, I would never regret my decision because I love traveling and living adventures.

What I believe in is acquiring such great memories and learning about different cultures and places by traveling. In my lifetime so far, I’ve traveled a lot, seen so many different cultures and met so many people and what I’ve learned in my travels is life itself. The things I’ve learned can never be learned from a book or anywhere else because sometimes in order to learn something you just have to experience it. On the other hand, living an adventure and remembering my travels are the most gratifying feelings I’ve ever had. Traveling is just so much fun for me especially when it’s risky and challenging because then I learn more and live bigger adventures. This is what I believe, and this is how I live.