Summer travel fosters shifting cultural perspectives

Summer travel fosters shifting cultural perspectives

Travel is an important endeavor in anyone’s life. The way that it broadens cultural perspectives fosters an international citizen as well as a higher level of global knowledge. The Spectrum talked with a few recent international travelers to see what their trips taught them.

Ryan Brazner ‘16 ventured to Europe this summer and cruised through the countries of Spain, Italy, France, Monticello, and England. He reflected on his time, remembering lots of violence, especially focused around Southern France. This time showed him how little violence there is in the United States comparatively.

Mark Taylor ‘16 spent some time this July climbing Mount Elbrus in Russia. This gave him the opportunity to talk to many locals, who opened up about their distaste for the Russian government. “It was surprising to hear that they liked the way the U.S. government works better than their own,” Taylor remarked. His travel to Russia forced him to think over the way he feels about his own government. He concluded: “I love my government. I’m not a commy.”

Both Natasha Reyes ‘15 and Charlie Adams ‘15 went on to South Africa on a trip run by the school and Frank Sachs. When asked if they liked the country, Adams confidently replied, “I want to move there.” However after he gave it more thought, he admitted that they were lucky enough to stay with a wealthy family, as Africa has a severe line between the rich and the poor. Reyes explained how the other parts of the country that they visited were “ten times worse than the U.S. It’s like a garbage dump with no running water, locks, electricity, or cleanliness.” This vacation showed them how privileged America is just to have as many housed people as they do, and additionally how the country’s wealth is much more equally spread throughout the citizens.

These students came to realize that travel gave them a greater appreciation of what their country has. Travel can also be important to give perspective on what one’s country does not have, might this be a concept like community or compassion, or other resources. If you have the opportunity to go on a trip, take it so you can learn more about your own country just like these Blake students did.

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