The Journey and Her Fellow Ambassadors - My Family Travels

This summer I had the great pleasure of traveling to Greece, Italy and France with The People to People Student Ambassador Program. Going on this treat meant many things to me. I learned so much, not only about the different cultures but I learned how to be a better traveler as well. Before the trip I was just a little fish in a tiny bowl. Then I ventured out into the bigger world and discovered so many majestic and wonderful things.

My travels meant exploring a part of the world I had never been to before, gaining life-long friends, experiencing new cultures, learning history actively, and trying new foods. Some of the people I went on this trip with are the greatest people I’ve met in my life. We got along so well and were instant friends. I had never been somewhere where the culture was so different and experiencing it was great. There are so many ways to live life differently than we do in the United States and it’s fascinating! The food in the countries I visited was fabulous! Everything we had was different and new. In some ways their food is better than ours.

The history part of the trip was captivating. History is always much more exciting when you are actually at the sight, experiencing everything with your own senses. I learned many things about Greek, French and Italian history that I didn’t know before. During our travels we went to historical and informational sights. The places that impacted me the most were the WWII Memorial near Florence, Italy, the Fossoli Transit Camp near Carpe, Italy, the Acropolis in Athens Greece, and the Theatre of Epidaurus in the Saronic Gulf in Greece. At the WWII Memorial we learned about WWII, where the soldiers were and about some of the very dangerous tasks they accomplished. At the Fossoli Transit camp we learned about transit camps, who was put in them, and how they were organized. Before the trip I didn’t even know that transit camps existed. When we went to the Acropolis I was surprised by how large and beautiful everything was. We had an awesome guide that gave us so much information about how the Acropolis and Parthenon were used and what took place up at the Acropolis in ancient times. Another breathtaking sight was the Theatre of Epidaurus. It was absolutely spectacular and the conservators are right about the acoustics. One of the girls from our group sang for us and sitting all the way up at the top of the theatre we could still hear her perfectly. It was so sensational it gave me goosebumps.

I learned how to bargain with the locals so I didn’t have to pay such high prices for purchases. Bargaining was the part of the trip that didn’t work well; I wasn’t very good at it. I probably paid more than a skilled haggler would on some items. Another thing I learned was how to do laundry in a hotel sink and how to pack efficiently. My suitcase was sure more organized because of that.

Now that I’ve been to new countries I have more respect for other people’s cultures and behaviors. Seeing some of the poverty and dirtiness of foreign countries also makes me appreciate where I live and how clean the water and the air are in the USA. During my trip I learned so many new things and gained wonderful experiences that I can look back on and enjoy. I made life-long friends and gained new knowledge of the huge world around me.

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