Living within the United States has many benefits considering the freedoms that all Americans hold true. However, many Americans live their lives in the same place until they graduate college. I have been lucky enough to travel out of the country. I have visited countries such as South Africa, Egypt, and even China. From theses trips, I realize how minuscule things such as running water and supermarkets are not readily available to the common people. During these trips, I recognized the importance of diversity through interacting with these different cultures.
When we are a kid, it seems like everyone you know reminds you that you are free and that you should be grateful. However, this sense of freedom did not fully set in until I visited China, the People’s Republic. During my stay there, I observed armed guards with spike clubs around every corner, talked to the native people about their government and listened to their automatic responses, and even read a newspaper that printed false facts about this country. The Communist country of China is much different then the United States, but I believe one needs to experience the total opposite before someone can fully appreciate the other side.
Religion is a tricky topic to talk about or sometimes even practice within the United States. The kids of America generally follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to religion. While in Egypt, I experienced religion on an entirely different scale. I saw a nation united under one religion and saw first hand how they practice it. I, along with the rest of the country, woke up to the sounds of the horns and bells for morning prays and saw them stop in their tracks during rush hour so they could get out of their cars and pull out their mats to pray. On the other hand, I also witnessed the horrible acts of the people who had a different religious view point. These people were treated as second class citizens and it seemed as though there was a civil war among these two groups of people. This made me realize how important the Bill of Rights is within the United States, but most importantly, the freedom of speech.
New York City is considered by some to have a large number of people in poverty but while visiting South Africa, it seemed as if everyone was in poverty-stricken. When arriving at the airport, I saw hundreds upon hundreds of little huts and people along the road transporting goods, even people who threw themselves in front of trucks. I eventually went into one of these small communities and spent the day with the kids. I realized that even though these kids were dirty and poor, they were happy. Despite their situation, they were happy and this experience changed my outlook on life.
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.