Travel has always taken place within the human race, raising the question: what drives the need to travel and why is the pursuit of travel never ending amongst our kind?
â–º best video 2012 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
â–º Honorable mention 2012 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
I learned the trigger for mankind’s adventurous aspirations when I signed up for a program with Colorado Youth at Risk, called Steps Ahead. CYAR told ninth graders (like myself at the time) that once we committed to the program we would be provided with a mentor and a community that would always have our back. Of course that is not what perked my youthful interest. What had me sold was the promise of a three day trip to Buena Vista in the mountains with free food, games, and a ropes course. But in the end my journey wasn’t unforgettable because of recreational activities, it was because of what I learned about myself and the bonds I had made in the process.
Somehow my curiosity over powered my shyness when I boarded a travel bus with vaguely familiar faces. The adult chaperones advised us to drink plenty of water to avoid high altitude sickness but I knew that home sickness was more likely to strike (because despite the fact that I was only going to be a short two hours away from home, I was still embarking on a seventy-hour two journey of the unknown).
What did I get myself into? These CYAR people actually wanted me to wake up at six in the morning for a mile run followed by blindly falling backwards off a stage into the arms of strangers, and to top it off, I was volunteered to be the first to jump from a thirty-foot high platform. I was reluctant as could be! But with the support of my new community my fear turned into courage.
I ran the mile as fast and as hard as I could just to prove to myself that when I feel like I have nothing left… I do. I fell into the arms of strangers to teach myself to trust and I jumped from that towering platform declaring, “I am jumping to prove that I can believe in myself for once!” because it was the first time I actually started believing that I can be anything I want to be.
Day Three: Reaching Home
Catalysts for human migration can range from horrible tyrannic governments and economic downfalls to needing a relaxing five day vacation. But regardless of the cause, all ventures have these intentions in common: the pursuit of a better life and self discovery.
On the last day, as I peered out the window of the travel bus, I realized that I helped satisfy my search for a better life because I saw things inside myself that I wouldn’t have if I had stayed at home. As trees disappeared and buildings returned to view I resolved that life is a trip where we can rack up miles with destinations like Buena Vista, but in the end, travel is just a commodity for gaining experience. And as a result of my experience I found that the most priceless gain from travel isn’t exactly a trip to the farthest parts of the world rather, it is getting a ticket to a deeper understanding of one’s self and who we all are as people but sometimes in order to do so: you have to travel far outside your comfort zone to reach the closest distance — the heart.