“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” (Augustine) Traveling is something I have been fortunate enough to do my whole life. My dad is a pilot for United Airlines, so I have many destinations I can tell you about. However, I am choosing to tell you about a destination that is not some beautiful place, nor is it a typical travel destination; but rather, it is a place of poverty and a place I think everyone should know about. This place is called Tijuana, Mexico.
A couple years ago, I traveled to Tijuana to assist a family of five with their home. Due to the fact that their family was growing, their house was becoming too small; so a group of us were there to build a house for them. First a foremost, houses in many parts of Tijuana are not at all similar to houses in America. Houses in Tijuana are often times made of scrap metal, wood, and bed sheets; anything the families can find. As a result of the high poverty levels, it is very difficult for families to afford a nice reliable home; so it may seem extreme to use those supplies, but most often that is all that they have.
Mexico is a travel destination for many people on spring break, and summer vacation. Most people see the glamour of Cabo, or Puerto Vallarta, but when you travel to certain parts of Tijuana you see a whole different side of the country. These glamorous travel destinations are beautiful, relaxing, and a wonderful place to see. Yet, the beauty of Tijuana Mexico is found in other ways. Interactions with the people and the families can show you their love and loyalty to one another. The structure of their homes is not strong, but the foundation of their culture and their roots, run deep within them. These people are amazing, and deserve to be seen for who they are, not where they live. I encourage you to travel not for the destination, but for the interactions and the memories you can make.
I chose to tell you about this wonderful place because I encourage many people to go there to see the realities of many parts of our country and our world. Yet, because of the poverty, the crime rates are high. So, if you decide to travel there make sure to be very cautious and safe.
Before traveling to Tijuana, I took many of the opportunities and the life I have in America for granted. With the realization of the struggles out there in our world, I think sometimes it is very important to travel to these places. We have struggles within our own country from devastation from tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes; the same goes for other places of the world. Once you see this devastation, this poverty, you can finally see what needs to be done to help these people. No one said traveling had to just be for pleasure or for business. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Lao Tzu)
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