Many young people take advantage of their travels, looking at the sights and soaking up all that location has to offer. My trip to Laos was a trip that I'll never forget and it changed my life forever. In early 2008, my family decided to go down the path of becoming missionaries to a impoverished country. We didn't know exactly what country to visit, so we decided to visit some friends in the country of Laos and see how we felt about the area. We called it a survey trip, but I call it the trip that changed my life. The trip was from December 19 to January 3 in 2008-2009. After the 26 hour plane ride, we landed in the capital of Laos and started our survey of the area. This trip was not one filled with sight seeing and shopping.
This trip was filled with talking with the locals, learning the culture, and looking at religious bondage. Many villagers live in poverty and blame themselves for it. They believe that because of a mistake in their previous life, they must live in poverty and suffering in their current one. Many Buddhist and animist believers also give up many possessions to the spirits because they believe that it will lead to elevating their suffering. This only increases suffering because these believers are in spiritual bondage. Being a Christ follower, my heart went out to these people who were suffering because of their religion. My heart went out to them because I only wish they could experience the love of Christ. Having a heavenly father that loves me is indescribable. This trip also caused me to realize that I needed to spread the word and teaching of Jesus Christ because his love and grace is something that everyone needs.
The second I landed my mindset on the world was starting to change. I saw poverty in its most gruesome and real form. We see poverty here, but because of the American standard of living, poverty here is only what some wealthy people in impoverished countries dream of. This trip truly opened my eyes to what poverty really was. Before this trip, I was self-centered, demanding, and materialistic. After coming home from this trip I took a good look at myself and realized many changes needed to be made in my life. I started giving up many of the things I didn't need. I started trying to live below my means because some people don't have the choice. I started helping others more and realized it brought me more happiness than any material thing ever could.
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.