Free sample essay on Travel:
Have you ever stopped to wonder what people on the other side of the world think about where you live? I have often thought about this as I have entered some new and strange environments. Should I expect exactly what I think? In most cases, I had already built up a preconceived idea in my mind of what it would be like. I have come to realize just how much travel helps to open our minds to the world, and how it allows for the opportunity to share our learning with others.
I have had two separate experiences in Mexico. As I recall my first short experience in Mexico, I remember my thoughts before setting foot there. I had pictured contaminated water and aggressive bartering. Upon arrival, I began feeling so sorry for the Mexican people and so privileged at the life that I had waiting for me at home. I was overwhelmed by all the little children carrying boxes of Chiclets, following us around with their dirty faces, in hopes that we would buy a box. I wondered why they were not at school. On a separate occasion in Mexico, my conceptions were changed. I was able to come closer to the Mexican culture. I interacted with the people, and saw them interacting with each other. I saw families filled with love and respect. I heard of future hopes and dreams and plans. I saw hardworking people with a zest for life. These people certainly had a lot more than I had thought. A close friend of mine re-iterated my same thoughts, as she described to me her living conditions for six months in Eritrea, Africa. She lived with no flush toilets or running water.
Half the day was spent with no electricity, to preserve enough power for the following day. Because of life’s simplicity she was so happy and content. She often expresses a desire to go back, because of the unity of the people and their ability to have a successful life without having material things to show for it. Though the people there are poor, they are indeed far richer in ways our culture would not necessarily understand as rich.
Our travelling experiences can allow us to banish some of the biases we have towards places in the world, that we have unpleasant preconceptions about. In Margaret Laurence’s “Down East” she tells of her biased view towards the East, namely Ontario. These views stemmed from her origins, and were carried with her throughout the first half of her life. It was not until she actually lived in Ontario, that she realized how inaccurate her conceptions had been. In the end Margaret came to love the place she had once despised. We ourselves can learn from Margaret’s experience, by trying to base our views on actual personal experiences instead of the stereotypical views of society. It has been my observation that we tend to base some of our decisions on negative media. This may be safe in some instances but there may be a chance of misfortune. We may miss out on something so spectacular that another location has to offer.
Sharing our travelling experiences with others can motivate action. By expressing our positive insights we can influence negative outlooks that others may have on a specific place. We can inspire others to seek out there own personal learning through travels of their own. It may seem impossible to make any sort of difference, but just sharing small experiences with friends or family, like my friend shared with me about Africa can really help to form illustrations in the mind. At my high school back home in Victoria, British Columbia, there was an opportunity for a dozen students to go on an exchange to Nunavut. A few of my classmates took this opportunity. Many of us were skeptical of there decision due to the seemingly strangeness of this distant and unusual place. We pictured igloos, Eskimos and ice cold breath. Who would ever want to go there? Upon their return from their one-month venture into the unknown, we were surprisingly jealous of their experiences. The students shared their trip with the school through a simple presentation. They shared with us the native customs their food and leisure activities. They also conveyed a real sense of the community there and the bond that the Eskimo people have with one another. Our preconceptions had been very wrong. I can now share that second hand information with others that may question life in that region of our globe. On a wider scale we can volunteer and show our support for benefits that go towards helping specific places of interest to us.
The spectrum of the world in my eyes has forever been changed. My personal travel experiences and the experiences of others around me have opened my mind. I have been brought to realize the greatness and goodness of some of the places in the world. My misconceptions had previously hindered my global awakening. I am more conscious of the effects of sharing our experiences with others that await their own global awakenings. The experiences of our lives are what shape us into who we are; let that shape be molded upon truth. In this world that is so vast and rich with experiences waiting to be had, let us open our minds and live.
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