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The little things we have in life are often taken for granted: the ability to have a home we call our own, to farm our own land, grow our own food, to have clean running water in the comfort of our own home, instead of carrying it from a lake that isn’t likely to be clean, to raise a...Tags:
There are few experiences like the first time you leave your family and travel on your own. My trip to China during the summer before my sophomore year in high school is one I will not soon forget. The Chinese Summer Bridge Camp program, through the Confucius Institute at the University of...Tags:
On June 26, 2010 I got in an airplane heading to Phoenix Arizona, leaving my home of Woodbury, Minnesota behind. My dad had a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. My mom and I chose to accompany him. Little did I know, I would return with more than my luggage, I would have a new perspective as well...Tags:
The dazzling bright sky and the embracing summer breeze greeted us as we left the airport. For a moment, we stood there taking in the sweet smell of fresh-cut grass and the chatter of excitement we left behind. It had only been two years since the last time I set foot here, yet China seemed all but...Tags:
Traveling to a new place where you have no inkling of the lifestyle that the people live, gives anyone a sense of excitement and an urge to learn more about that place. In 2008, I had the wonderful experience of traveling to the islands of Tahiti with my Polynesian dance group that I perform with....Tags:
“It’s a Small World after all.” Many recognize the phrase, or have heard the song. But the truth of such a comment only became apparent to me after my visit to Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France this summer. As a student ambassador with People to People, I paid my $6,000 and-something fee...Tags:
My aunt recently moved to California and paid for my ticket to fly me from Michigan to visit with her. On my flight there, all I could imagine was how beautiful the beaches were, how beautiful the people were and how everything was going to look just like The Hills on MTV. I was sadly mistaken. I...Tags:
Each sparkling light strung together as if whispering to the moon light sky, that there is always a Tower District, Fresno, CA family willing to keep it lifted above the ground. Tower District is always lit, a banner of yellow lights stretch across the street for blocks reminding passers that it is...Tags:
Growing up in the metro-Detroit area has not made me a stranger to big cities. Frequent trips to the cultured areas of downtown Detroit, annual trips to Pittsburgh, and vacations in Chicago gave me the impression that I knew all the feature of an urban environment. However, this impression was...Tags:
It was a cool Autmn day in my small town of Spartanburg in South Carolina. There was a calmness in the air and a smoky smell reminiscent of a toasty fire to warm souls. This was the kind of day that I had dreamed all summer of seeing. The alarm clock rang, alerting me that today was the day- the...Tags: