As simple as the six letter word travel is, its complexities are ever flowing. Travel is what links us to other places in the world and helps different societies better understand the diverse cultures of the world. Without the experience and knowledge gained from ones exploration of the world our knowledge would be very limited. From personal experience of travel, it has opened my eyes to the customs of other people and how the beliefs of a group shift depending on their location in the world.
The most eye opening experience for me was my trip to a miniscule town in southwestern Pennsylvania. Having grown up in sunny south Florida, home to the rich and beautiful, i never really thought twice about how lucky I was to live where I lived.
When my parents announced that we would be taking a vacation to the quaint town of Farmington Pennsylvania, I was somewhat curious to see how the upper half of the United States lived. Once arriving there, I was truly flabbergasted in seeing the major differences that such a short plane trip could make. I was now standing about thousands of feet above sea level surrounded by luscious green forests composed of maple and evergreen trees which was a completely different environment from my usual palm tree covered sunny beaches of Florida.
Not only was I shocked to see the contrasts of the different environments but I what was truly memorable was the culture, of the people who lived in Farmington. Gone was all the bikini clad, beautiful women strolling the beach, gone were the successful businessmen living their lives in their palatial palaces, gone was the perspective that I had on the world and replaced with my naÃ¯ve thoughts was the truth, the real down to earth people, the people of Pennsylvania, the people who know what it was like to live without a surplus of money.
Instead of driving around in the expensive BMWs and Mercedes these people enjoyed life riding around in old pickup trucks and dented cars, they had no care in the world and enjoyed the simple gifts in life. Money was obviously not the so called “God” that it is to many Floridians, but yet it was rather a form of currency that was only need to pay for necessities and not for self-indulgent pleasures. This new culture that I had been exposed to was the real way of life and not some extravagant and made up south Florida culture that I had grown so accustom too.
To make my fabulous trip story short, I had a magnificent time discovering southwestern Pa, learning about national historical sites, golfing and enjoying the beautiful forests that Pennsylvania has to offer. Although this trip had to come to an end I know that the experience and knowledge that I have gained form this has opened my eyes to everything in the world and has helped be to fully understand different ways of life. This experience has made me more accepting towards others and has helped me to escape a bias way perspective.
I hope to be able to study different world cultures by having the chance to study abroad during college and maybe even to major in international affairs so I can learn about the effect s that cultures have on the world. Travel is not only a form of pleasure found in vacationing across the world but rather a firsthand education, helping us better to understand the world around us.
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