(Contributed by Dawn)
Let me tell you something about travel. Travel is absolutely something everyone should do. Travel is the key that opens the door not only to the world around you, but also to the world within you. With each new step, place, and person you meet, you change, you grow, you discover more about yourself than you ever knew possible. Adventure, stress, discomfort, love—these are the things that shape us, things you find through exploration of this earth, things that help you discover those hidden corners of your soul.
Though I encourage domestic travel, the truth is that there really isn’t much that’s more eye opening than international travel. Experiencing a different culture firsthand is most definitely something I recommend for everyone. I did this myself for several years, as I lived in Japan and traveled to various other countries. Breaking out of my comfort zone and diving into a world entirely different from the one I knew existed was the best thing I could have ever done. Now as a high school teacher in the USA, I am doing my best to inspire international awareness in my students. This summer, I am taking a group of high school students to Japan for a 9-day educational tour. It is so uplifting to see their excitement and to see them working independently to learn about the language and the culture of Japan. I cannot wait to share this adventure with them, and it is my hope that from this, a yearning for more travel, for more knowledge of the world, will grow. I want to help others find the courage to explore and love the differences that make this world so great. My greatest wish is to build bridges between cultures, so that people can see this beautiful place called Earth from a well-rounded perspective.