I have never in my life gotten a wrapped gift on my birthday or Christmas. Instead I get something that is worth much more than a new iPad or laptop. Twice a year my parents give me a small blue envelope, which contains a destination, date, and departure time of a lifetime experience waiting to happen. Ever since the day I could remember my parents have put more value on being exposed to different culturals than temporary material gifts. At the end of the day, a t-shirt can stop fitting you, but an experience in another county is everlasting.
I’ve travelled to more than 35 states and 17 countries around the world with my family. I’ve spent every school break since 6th grade on the road; visiting new and old places, meeting peoples of different backgrounds, and experiencing the rich culture each place has to offer. Every trip has ultimately shaped me into who I am today. I have experienced the richness of U.A.E and the poorness of Kenya, the history of England and the future of New York, and the cold of Canada and the warmth of Brazil. Every place has opened my eyes to new tastes, sounds, sights, and ideas. But experiencing these places isn’t just a quick decision; there is lots of planning and preparation that goes behind the adventures. At the end of the day, once the over-packing, long lines at the TSA, and crazy taxi driving is over, being able to experience a new culture is completely worth it.