Brenna Bowerman is a student at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Her teacher, ACIS Group Leader Michelle Shupp, held an essay contest to reward a travel scholarship posing the question “Why Travel Internationally in Today’s World?”, and the essay below is Brenna’s winning entry:
In today’s world, we don’t get to see all the marvels hidden in towns and cities based on what we watch on the news. We only ever see the destruction and fear spread in these breathtaking regions. The only way for anyone to get the full view of an area is to experience it, in all its beauty, for themselves. There are so many benefits to traveling internationally in this day and age that it’s almost impossible to count. Each area has a different type of culture, food, language, history, and education; there are so many things that a person can learn from one territory of the world. Traveling can increase education and mental maturity of students through all of these above reasons.
The news’ job is to inspire fear into its viewers and make it blown out of proportion. Today, we see these examples in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia especially. Despite the conflict, these regions are home to some of the oldest trade routes and history. Yes, there are some dangerous people, but the majority of people are kind, loving, and devoted to their religion. As Yoda once said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”
One of the great things about the world today is that there are so many different types of cultures and customs. You can travel an hour by car (or about 60 miles) from anywhere and you will have new food, new accents, and much more. Imagine traveling over eleven hours by plane (or about 6250 miles) and what the change would be in customs and culture. Here in Pennsylvania, we mostly speak English or Spanish, 80% of the population is Christian, we have relaxed restrictions on clothing, and a widespread use of technology. If you went anywhere else in the world, you would find none of those to be exactly the same. That is what makes travel so important: the fact that you can go anywhere on this planet and learn enough to blow your mind and change your world.
Not only do we learn about the cultures of today, but we learn about all the history of yesterday. Through recent science, we have determined an extreme amount about the past that can build our understanding of the world and help us learn from mistakes our ancestors made in the past. However, history is disappearing because of human ignorance. Every year, hundreds of ancient buildings or artifacts are demolished due to terrorism from groups like ISIS, or from the construction of buildings. We need to be able to witness this history before it’s gone forever. Lastly, traveling can help us find that one place where we feel we really belong. The place that makes our heart pound and our lips break into a smile. Traveling can uncover the place where fate wants us to be.
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