I am a global citizen. My house is just one place in one town in one country. My home is much much more. I cherish the opportunities I am given to see the world outside of my own personal sphere of society. I take with me a part of everyplace I have been. Every experience, acquaintance, and memory becomes an influence on the way i see the world. Each adventure becomes a factor in my comprehension of every person place and idea I will encounter in the future. The things I thought I knew become visible to me in a whole new light as my perspective broadens and reshapes as a result of new and exciting experiences. My eyes have truly been opened by my travels abroad.
Let me begin by offering a visual. As I type this essay, I can hear the air conditioner keeping my whole house at a crisp 72 degrees. The view I see outside my window is serene and quaint. The lazy-boy chair I am sinking into is very comfortable, probably much more so than it needs to be. My entire situation is about as pleasant as could be. This is where I believe perspective comes into play. Rather than feel content about my situation, I might just as easily say that I wish things were different. I could complain about the variables that can and should be changed to suit me better. Perhaps I don’t like the fact that I have to wear my sweater indoors. Why is my house not warmer? Things could certainly be more exciting than the part of town where I live. Why can’t I live in the fun part of downtown? And why doesn’t this cushy chair recline like i wish it did? This is why I know that my broadened perspective is the best part of me. I’ve seen the parts of the world where ultimate comfort does not exist at the forefront of every person’s mind. I’ve met families who lacked a TV, nice clothing, and even telephones. I’ve lived in a household where the food on the dinner table was a result of the hard work we had done that very day, and you know what? I was comfortable there!
Years of traditional education cannot begin to compare to the mental development I went through during my stay in Santa Cruz, Costa Rica. I was without a computer, a cell phone, a TV, and a third meal everyday. I worked hard for hours eachday just as everyone else in my host family did. It was the happiest and most fulfilled I have ever felt. I never spoke to a person who wasn’t in a room with me. My usual hours of free time during the summer days were reduced to minutes. It was the most productive I have ever been. All the busy work and tedious studying I had done for school felt trivial compared to my experiences in Santa Cruz. And through such experiences I made lifelong friends who’s influences continue to shape the ways I observe and interact within my world.
So many of the memories I created in Costa Rica are among the best I have. I can remember spending hours everyday with a man named Roger, doing nothing but playing ping pong. I’m now the best Ping Pong player I know. My favorite genre of music; reggaeton, was completely unknown to me until my host brother Miguel played it for me on his miniature boom box. Because of the community of Santa Cruz I can now spackle a ceiling, mix cement, construct a paved walkway, and build a church. Because of the community of Santa Cruz, I connect better with my family, I fully understand the importance of the conservation of our planet, and I have never since taken for granted that which many people may overlook and consider trivial. I have taken away with me, a part of Costa Rica as well as every other place i have traveled to in the last few years of my life, and I am a global citizen
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