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Next step: The World

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11. Posted by zebre (Budding Member 19 posts) 9y

Sirajji, your piece of writing was really interesting--travel is a little bit like skiing. If your parents don't ski and you didn't really grow up skiing, then you usually don't end up becoming a mad skiier. But this is all obviously coming from you, and I think that if you've made the decision you want to see the world, you will! (or at least part of it) Before high school my family and I had gone to Europe, the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, etc., (and the UK about a billion times because we have family over there) and it was really cool. But then I got to high school and I got bitten by the same bug you did; I tripled the number of languages I can speak (before high school, English and French, now those plus Spanish, Italian, Swahili, and Mandarin!) and started itching to really see what the "non-West" was like. Especially after studying modern world history; that was a huge eye-opener! So I got my parents used to the idea of me traveling on my own by going to live with a family in Biarritz for the summer when I was fifteen--we'd been to France before, it was safe and familiar, no worries. Then I decided that I really, really wanted to go to non-South Africa-Kenya-Ghana Africa (ie not completely on the beaten path) and convinced them to let me live with a local Tanzanian family in the highlands for a month. Amaaaazing, totally eye-opening, but also took some work and initiative on my part (but SO worth it!). Then my Mandarin class and I decided to go to China, and that was also super eye-opening, just in a really different way! And this summer I'm blowing my savings on a month in Singapore and Indonesia--so really, it's got to come from you. But I have no doubt that you really want this and you'll make it happen! If you really, really want to see the world, learn some of the local language and stay with a family if you can, because that's the stuff that's real. It's relaxing to go to the Maui Hilton, but it's ultimately wayyy more rewarding to look back on that month you lived in a hut or ate scorpions. So good luck--again I really enjoyed reading your piece! We have that same manic travel hunger...

Also you might considering applying to college abroad--I'm a senior (turning 18 tomorrow) and going to St Andrews in Scotland next year. Doesn't have the same exotic cache as Zanzibar or Mandalay, but still a lot closer to Europe and the Mideast than San Francisco and a chance to live in a (relatively) foreign culture for a few years. You can take a ferry to Norway, for crying out loud (I know this isn't really a big thing for all the Euros in this forum, but when you're from California taking a weekend in another country is pretty mind-blowing). You don't have to take a year off to see and do all the things you want to. If you really love the world, you will find a way of life that lets you act on that--diplomat, international business, whatever. Travel on the cheap however much you can afford! Part of doing the "see the world" bit when you're in your twenties and stuff is taking the crappy bus with the goat strapped on the roof because it costs less than the sleek, posh one down the street. But seriously--you'll find a way to make it work and you'll have loads of fun!

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 26, 2007, at 11:53 PM by zebre ]

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