Traveling: A Crucial Part of Life

Experiencing new things is important to everyone


Sophomore Elise Nyffeler in Ecuador making a difference

Natalie Eljamal, Staff Writer

Dirt roads lined with tires and broken down houses, this is everyday life for the people of Lebanon. Everyday is a struggle of figuring out how to make money for your family. Many people of this country are not as fortunate as others. They don’t have a choice of which shoes to buy or where they sleep, but they are happy with what they have. In America, we are always surrounded by money, people in this country help each other. In third world countries, they don’t get that help, and teenagers from first world countries don’t get that.

Lebanon is a small country right on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, between war torn countries Syria and Israel, with many refugees sneaking in to the country, it leaves no room for the citizens to live at ease.

I remember not too long ago in Lebanon, my dad and I were in a shop getting some dessert for his family. I remember seeing these very young girls, the oldest maybe 11, and the youngest maybe seven, and the oldest was carrying the little sister which was maybe two. I remember the looks on their faces, distressed and tired, they’re babies. They were begging for anything, even cents. They looked terrified, they were barefoot with cuts and their clothes all torn. The most poverty I have ever seen in America is a homeless man with a guitar bumming a cigarette. Other people seeing this could also open their eyes and show them a new side of the world they most likely have never seen.

In my experience, traveling is very important. While yes, it may be enjoyable and laid back, it is one of the richest lessons in life. There is so much out there, and there is no limit on the knowledge you receive. The knowledge is limitless.

Over the years I have been to many third world countries, some of which include Mexico, Lebanon and Turkey. From each of them, my world view expanded by seeing how they lived a majority of their life with little and now have everything they wish for.

Traveling teaches gratefulness. It shows how other people don’t have as much and still live their lives with a smile, it teaches you that you don’t need to have the newest phone, or brand-name shoes to be happy. It opens your eyes, for example, you’ll notice in some other countries people have to go to a well to get water without the luxury of flipping a switch.

We all have a well established comfort zone. Whether it is with parents or best friend, most people have one. Traveling really helps people function outside of their comfort zone by being exposed to a different perspective of life and being more thankful.

“Traveling to different places, especially a third world country has made me so much more grateful for everything that I have in America,” sophomore Elise Nyffeler said, “It has especially shown me how there are so many things you can find joy in besides belongings or status.”

In Nyffeler’s trip to Ecuador, she experienced a new way of life and saw that even with very little, the people of Ecuador were still happy with their life. They manage to put a smile on their faces and to be thankful for everything they have.

Matador Health shows that going places abroad while you’re younger is proven to lead to higher educational achievement. This happens by seeing new things and adapting to different situations, you also begin to adjust to other accents which helps with socializing with other people and making them feel welcome. Traveling also helps you keep an open mind by experiencing new things.

“Traveling out of the country has really opened up my eyes on how not every country is like America and has taught me other people’s languages and traditions,” junior Morsell Tookhi said. “It honestly is one of the best things I have ever experienced.”

Tookhi enjoyed learning more about people around the world, and she agrees that seeing new places is very important and thinks that it really changed her life.

While many people may argue that traveling is expensive, that is not always the case. Many people think that when they travel that they have to go to the nicest most expensive hotel or resort. What they don’t realize is that going to the most expensive places is often going to be more Americanized to accommodate their American tourist.

According to Matador Health, traveling improves brain health, decreases risk of heart disease and also because you get exposed to a different environment your body creates stronger antibodies and boosts your immune system significantly.

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes really is an eye opener and helps you understand that not everyone is as fortunate as you may be. This is a good life lesson that many teenagers would remember for the rest of their lives

I always knew that there were people in America who had it rough, people who couldn’t feed their kids and take them to school, provide them with good clothes. But all of this is nothing compared to what I’ve seen. Families living on the streets, ripped clothes and dirty faces. Begging for even a penny, and people pass them without caring, making them feel even less of a person. I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have, to not care if its Nike or Adidas, because some people don’t even have a choice. I’ve learned not to take my education for granted because I know some people would beg for this opportunity.

From trips of around the world, I have gained a new view of life, and will carry it out for many years to come, and I hope that other students get the same opportunity that I had.