I have the fortunate opportunities because of my parents’ hard work and smart financial decisions that we as a family are able to travel internationally quite frequently. In this opportunity, I always regard it as a gift and a blessing the knowledge and culture that I am exposed to early on and I see it helping me to understand different backgrounds and cultures and to learn about the origins of our society at a deeper level than from a textbook definition.
I find it fitting to first describe my background. I am born and raised in Texas, however my parents hold some different stories. My dad was born in Guiana, a British territory at the time, and escaped their revolution with this eight other siblings when he was only a small child. They ended up in Europe, Canada, and the US. My mom was born in California, her parents however originated in Michigan and after my grandfather’s service in the war and my grandmother’s service to the American Red Cross, they had fallen in love and travelled together to California to find work. My father and mother met in California, were married, and travelled to Texas following a job.
So, my background isn’t crazy but it’s not lackluster either.
As for my world education, it has been quite comprehensive. From the Vatican to Greece to Tokyo to the Sydney Opera House, I’ve learned how to adapt to cultures and really understand how dependent we are upon one another and how it’s important to preserve our own cultural identity while being open-minded about others’.
Europe is my favorite place to start. London is the New York, New York over there in Europe. The city never sleeps, the people are everywhere, and the building touch the sky. The most notable quality I find is how people walk places or take public transportation. In suburbia, you may have a train five miles away that stops only three miles away from your destination. You think, what a great opportunity to maybe do some biking or walking. Well, I open my trusty Google Maps and behold it’s only three and a half hours using public transportation! Except that if I drive in my car, it’s only 30. Alas, the limitations of our public transportation system in Texas. But, we’re talking London. There are subways, buses, bikers, walkers, and taxis everywhere. That’s what amazes me. Even in Dallas, one of the largest cities in the world, is so poorly engineered, that it’s near impossible to find a better solution than every person in their car commuting to work by themselves. Yet, London has defied my knowledge of what public transportation can and should look like.
My second time to Europe, the Mediterranean was my destination. The coasts of Europe are beautiful with lavish gardens, green hillsides, and sacred architecture. It ceases to amaze me the extensive history that seems as if it was an eternity away only to realize that only a few hundred years before, the words of Christ were spoken, that the architectural miracles that we don’t understand, and the lifestyles of earlier generations.
The world is a beautiful place that has extensive history for us to learn and I will always be looking to explore it and expand my world view. My only hope is that others see the value in other cultures, histories, and world views similar to the appreciation I have.