Traveling can help you grow too.

There is a strong belief in having to expose yourself to the different ways of life to fully grow as an individual. This unique way of thinking is something I’ve come to develop in my own life as I’ve gotten older. Everyone has their ways of self-discovery and mine just happens to be in the form of traveling. With seven continents at our disposition to explore, there are so many things to see, people to meet, and experiences to live through.

First of all, I would like to mention that not only has traveling helped me grow as a person but has also made me more culturally educated. To be able to envelop a deeper understanding of other cultures can broaden the connections you make with others in society as well as your understanding of them. Having become more culturally aware myself I have noticed that I’m more open to other ways of living and have come to find out that we can learn something from everybody. I strongly believe that through my different travels I have experienced the different meanings of life through the eyes of someone else. To be able to see the different cultures, family and social lives of other individuals pushes you to take time to reflect on the person you are and what you value the most. Even something as simple as trying local cuisine dishes from your travels can help broaden your knowledge and figure out what you enjoy. I recently have spent my holiday break with family in Nicaragua. I have visited this one of a kind country with its bountiful nature before, but this trip was more special than the rest. It was the first time visiting during the holidays! Being able to experience Christmas in a different setting/way than what I’m used to was interesting. In the states, we usually see Christmas as being very commercialized but in countries like Nicaragua, the focus is more on the religious aspects. In the city of Managua, there is a strip of gigantic nativity sets that light up the streets at night. This is a very popular thing among the locals who like to come out when the sun sets to enjoy with their loved ones. There are also food vendors, music, and rides for younger kids. Spending my holiday season away from what I’ve known my whole life made me re-evaluate why the holidays are important to me and starting to make my own traditions for the future.

An example of one of the many beautiful nativity sets found in Managua during the holidays. (Credit goes to Alianza News)

The most beautiful thing about traveling is that you may need to return home but you always carry those memories and experiences back with you. Each time I step into a plane to fly back to sunny Miami, I find myself more molded into a well-rounded individual. There is nothing more thrilling than to be able to step outside of your world for a bit and into something fresh and new. School teaches us different subjects such as calculus or biology but life experiences teach you about yourself.