Pupil Essay: four Reasons Why Traveling Is actually So Important
This article was written by Connor Edward McGrane upon the return of his from Italy and Greece this spring. He writes about how his trip abroad changed the perspective of his and helped him gain a global perspective.
Last week I was extremely fortunate to have the chance to travel to Italy and Greece. While traveling through these 2 beautiful countries, I learned many things. I learned the ancient city of Pompeii had a brothel, that the word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek word “gymnós” which means nude, and that the Romans used to fill up the coliseum with water in order to have naval battles. Nevertheless, what I am going to take with me for the majority of the life of mine from this trip didn’t come from a guided tour.
Traveling opens the mind of yours since you start to see how folks do things differently than you and still get by. We become so accustomed to just how we do things that we think it’s the only way, and that any person who acts differently is inferior. Traveling changes this. From big things such as religious practices to little things such as the way you order the food of yours, traveling opens you up to other kinds of changes.
These changes are able to get frustrating at times. For instance, in case you ask for water in Italy you’ll most likely still get bottled water and be charged for it. When ordering gelato, you’ve to pay first before telling them what you would like. You consider these changes and apply them to everyday life. You understand that if someone does things differently than you, it is ok. Maybe that kid acts differently than you, talks differently than you. Traveling makes you realize that is alright because there are actually some other folks in the world that would think the way of yours of doing things is actually “weird.”
Probably the most fun part of traveling is actually experiencing cultures that are different. food that is New, music that is new, new language, it is really amazing how different it could be from ours. One of the things of Roman culture I discovered interesting was they air dry the clothes of theirs. In the United States, we will get this as a hassle since we love to get things done fast. Nevertheless, the Italians value tradition. Neither is actually right, neither is actually wrong. Another interesting thing was how superstitious the Italians are actually.
Our tour guide provided us with a session on hand gestures not to make, as the Italians will take it as in case you’re casting the “evil eye” on them. Anti-evil spirit jewelry and decorations were sold throughout Greece. In the United States, we are not that superstitious, so it was incredible to see this. Trying food that is different was amazing too. In the United States, we appear to believe we’re used to all different food types since it is super easy to obtain a Mexican, Chinese, Italian, or perhaps Greek restaurant. Nevertheless, these food items are quite different when made in the home countries of theirs. The real Greek Gyro had a significantly different sauce than the yogurt sauce used here and Gelato made in the states tastes as ice milk.
One of the more amazing aspects of traveling to Europe is how different everything looks. Cobblestone streets, roads that are narrow, and tiny apartment buildings are actually all very different from what we’ve right here in the U.S. Particularly in New York City where the roads are wide and long, it was incredible to see streets where barely one automobile is able to pass through. The automobiles themselves were so much smaller. In the U.S., it is very common to see big SUV’s or perhaps minivans…not in Europe. Even the cities themselves were so much different. In the U.S. when we think of a city we think of something like New York City, huge skyscrapers, and buildings made out of glass.
This’s what I expected to see when I traveled to Europe for the first time. Rome and Athens were nothing that way. There was not a skyscraper in sight, and most of the buildings were extremely old. Here in the United States, all appears to be so new compared to Europe. There seemed to be a piazza in Rome literally sitting on top of an ancient stadium. Our tour guide took us into one home in Athens where a male redid the basement of his to find an enormous pot which was more than 2,000 years old. The mountain ranges were also beautiful. Coming from Island that is Long, I’ve just seen a couple of mountains in the lifetime of mine. Being in Delphi, a city in the mountains of Greece, was breathtaking. The mountains and valleys looked as they went on forever. They made the 4 hour bus journeys much more enjoyable.
If there’s something I won’t ever forget from this particular trip, it is something the tour guide said to us. On the final day of ours in Rome when saying goodbye to us, she started to discuss how important traveling is actually and how she hopes this trip has given us an urge to want to explore the world more. At the conclusion of the farewell of her, she said “Even in case you decide you never want to travel again…Remember what you saw, and that you’re all so lucky to have been born in the United States of America. America truly is the land of opportunity, a meritocracy. When you work hard, you’ll succeed. Never forget that.” This really stuck with me and made me realize just how lucky I’m. Exactly how fortunate I’m to live in an economic system which rewards work that is hard and innovation and encourages individuals to be successful.
A country which believes in individual rights and fights to look after them. A country where even the poor folks of ours are able to afford their own apartments, unlike the Romans, where the average person can only afford to rent a room in an apartment. I loved the look on people’s faces after I told them I was American. One female asked me to take a picture for her, and upon hearing my accent asked if I was American. I said yes, and her response was “Wow!! You are beautiful!” Afterward, I heard her say to the daughter of her, “He’s from the United States!!” It made realize how fortunate I’m to come from such a great country.
Traveling is really an incredible experience. I’ve learned a great deal from the 4 European countries I’ve traveled to, and will go on to read more as I further explore the world. Traveling does not have to mean going all over the world, however. You are able to find out so much just from traveling to another part of the United States. The manner in which folks live in the south could be very unique and interesting compared to right here in the North. Actually exploring the various boroughs in York City that is New will open the eyes of yours to cultures that are different. As Ibn Battuta once said, “Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
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