What Traveling Taught Me

I consider myself to be a very lucky person because at the age of 14, I have been to over 14 countries. Since the time I was very young, my parents have been taking me all around the world. Growing up my parents didn’t travel internationally as much as I did. My dad was an army kid who grew up all over the country. On the other hand my mom stayed in one city practically her whole life. Their shared love and curiosity for travel and seeing the whole world led to me getting to experience all sorts of fascinating places. 

Travelling helped me see all sorts of amazing places. My earliest travel memory is going to Thailand. It was a great holiday, the first of many. That trip exposed me to a different culture, different food and different people. Even though I was too young to notice the change around me, it did help me normalise the fact that there is a big and diverse world around me. Since that trip, my parents and I have travelled to a lot of different places. We were super crazy about these trips. We would spend weeks and weeks planning out where we should go and what we should do there. After we would reach our holiday destination, we would spend the trip seeing all the attractions, eating the food and meeting the locals. My favorite trip of all had to be the time we went to Greece. The trip was memorable to me because it was a trip I had always wanted to make. After my phase of being hooked to Greek history and mythology, going and seeing places like the Parthenon and temple of Poseidon made my inner mytholgy nerd burst with happiness. 

Travelling has opened my knowledge about the world around me. When my parents and I went to Vietnam, I hadn’t known much about the country. My trip taught me a lot of the country’s rich culture. We learnt more about the Vietnam war and visited all the different war museums. One museum exhibit showed a couple of American planes that had crashed into that exact spot and had been left there as a souvenir of war. Even my travels within my country taught me a lot. When I went to the city of Agra, India during a school trip, I was taught more about the Mughal dynasty of India and the fascinating and tragic tale of the king Shah Jahan who built the Taj mahal in honour of his late wife. Even when I visited the city of London or Paris, I got to see gain an understanding of European history. The best part about getting to travel and learn about new places is that you get to see these places in front of your eyes. Whether it be castles or the ruins of a lost city, or a giant monument or a street named to honour a famous resident. Travelling helps you learn from the best source, the place itself. 

Travelling helped me become a better global citizen. I will not be ashamed to admit that where I grew up, people were not always as aware of the world around me as I was. Even living in a big city in India was practically nothing compared to big cities in America. Here, the people my age who I have met are much more aware and generally more comfortable with people who are different than them. When I was growing up, change wasn’t as welcomed as it is now. Whenever we would encounter someone even remotely different, we would immediately start to worry, or we would just be confused. I’m not saying that it as our fault. I grew up in a city that wasn’t as diverse as American cities. Travelling however changed that for me. Travelling taught me many simple etiquettes that people would appreciate coming from a foreigner. Basic courtesies like not cutting the line or speaking slowly while talking to people who may not understand your language or accent. Sometimes I had to learn by experience. Nothing can be more humiliating than making a mistake and having a dozen people look at you like you committed a great sin. Travelling helps you also understand that some people prefer that you don’t do a certain thing and one must accept that.

Lastly travelling gave me the best experiences. As a writer, I always loved going on vacation because I knew that the trip may give me a couple of fun adventures and stories for me to use and write about. My travels would almost always have one or two crazy adventure or mishaps that I would immediately go home and write about. How else would I have been able to be stuck on a small boat in a rural part of Thailand, in the rain and in the middle of the night if it wasn’t for my parents love for booking the oddest places for us to stay? Or how else would I have been able to see practically the whole of Singapore if we hadn’t walked 10 miles to our hotel after our dinner? Travelling really brings out your inner adventurous side, whether its pure luck or the nature of your circumstances. I can always look back to my trips around the world if I ever need something to write about and it almost always makes a very entertaining story!

In conclusion, travelling gives so much more than photographs and a couple of memories. Travelling can enrich and change your life in the best way possible. It helps you in so many ways, ways that you may not even know. Even going to visit some attractions in your hometown or places around you. You can really be surprised with what all you may discover. You may find out that your city was a big part of the civil war or it was a hometown to a famous painter! I really believe that every place on the earth has something cool or travel worthy about it. The world is a vast and diverse place. So why spend your time learning about different places on paper when you should take every opportunity you get to see the world.

Each of these trips have given me so many lessons, memories and adventures. I encourage everyone to try and explore the world as best as they can. You will be surprised to find out what you will end up seeing. 

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