In July of 2009 I had the remarkable opportunity to visit an amazing country known as Belize. The cost was approximately 4000 dollars, and I was determined to go. Through hard work and dedication, I raised all of it. And before I knew it, I was on the plane traveling to Belize.
By the time we landed, the view was too surreal to believe. I had known it would be beautiful, but nothing could have prepared me for that. It was phenomenal. But then something occurred that I had not anticipated. I saw things that no American could fathom without traveling to another country. I saw dogs, so skinny and infested with disease, that their entire stomach circumference was smaller than my neck. I saw children so malnourished, that they looked more pregnant than their mothers. Yet, what really moved me was that they were all smiling. Each child we passed smiled and waved, and then went back to their game of tag, or hide-and-go-seek, like it was the most amazing game in the world, even after playing it for hours everyday. Each dog wagged its tail, like they had just had a feast set before them. Even in the United States, with all the suffering that is thrown upon many people, I believe it wasn’t at all like the suffering endured in Belize. They suffered, yet they made the best of it.
As tears welled up in my luck-filled eyes, our bus came to a stop in Blue Creek Village. We unloaded, and children from miles around begged us to be allowed to carry our bags. I was hesitant at having these small children lug my heavy bags, yet they were so willing, and I knew they needed the money. I gave my bags to two girls, and insisted on helping them every step of the way. Once we got through that part of the rainforest, we landed in our camp overlooking the most beautiful river. I was so amazed by the lush green trees surrounding me. I then gave the girls some money, as well as some coloring materials. Their faces lit up. It was touching.
The rest of the stay in Blue Creek was just as amazing as that first day. I did things I would have never been able to do in America. I held scorpions, iguanas, and even stayed with a Mayan family for a night. Any person would have been lucky to meet those people. They were the most adorable people I have ever met. Money was not important for them, and they had many homemade items in their hut.
The trip opened my eyes to things unseen by many people. I encountered many things that ended up making me a better person. I now conserve the amount of energy I use everyday. I don’t care as much about silly possessions. I am thankful for life each day. I feel so lucky to have virtually changed the way I am as a human so early in life. My future has no boundaries. I feel smarter and more able to do anything I set my mind to. I know I’m capable of becoming a prominent doctor, and saving lives everyday. I also know that this will not be my last big trip. It has motivated me to put the schooling I am able to receive to good use. I will travel to other countries and even travel here, in America, and save many lives. People tell me I cannot save the world; but I know that now, I can try.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.