This I Believe

For six years now, the NPR, National Public Radio, have been running a series entitled, “This I Believe”.Listeners and various celebrities have sent in essays about areas of their lives or beliefs in which they feel very strongly about. They vary from in tone from humorous to horrifying to uplifting to upsetting. At the core of each though, there is a strong message of belief. I decided to write my own: And this I believe…
That everyone should take the opportunity to travel the world. What’s the point of reading about history without taking the time to experience it firsthand? I understand travel is considered a luxury to most, but I was brought up with the mentality that it was a learning tool. It doesn’t need to be expensive. I’m sure there’s a corner of your state that you’ve never visited, or a park you’ve never been to, or a museum you’ve never explored. I believe in the words of Saint Augustine; that the world is a book, and those who chose to not to travel, only read a page.
My adventure first began when I was five months old on a trip to California and I’ve been raking up my frequent flyer miles ever since. No matter how I reached a destination, be it car, bus, plane, or train, the trip was always exciting. Traveling was the only time I would ever endure a 4 a.m. wakeup call because I knew the reward would be worth my puffy eyes.
I guess you could say travel is the core of my being. Had I not been exposed to the wonders of it at such a young age, maybe my outlook on it would be different, but having now experienced many splendors of the world, there’s no turning back. Granted I have so much more to see, but I’d say that considering I only have 21 years of travel under my belt, my passport is in pretty good shape.
The majority of the trips I’ve been on, it’s just my mother and I but to us it doesn’t matter. She has been the one that led me on so many fantastic adventures. It was her that decided that I wouldn’t play sports that interfered with summers because that would cut out two months of prime travel time. One that sticks out in my mind was one of our many trips to Italy. Instead of doing our typical tour we went to Rome and stayed with my Great Aunt who just-so-happened to have been a nun stationed within Vatican walls. For us that meant cutting past Swiss Guards into the secret world of Vatican City. There was so much behind the walls to see; from small chapels, beautiful paintings, small fountains and even a gas station. Without my mother and aunt sparking my love of travel and exploration, I would probably be a different person today, but to them I am thankful.
This I believe: that taking a nap in the Sistine Chapel was one of the purest moments of my life. That swimming in the Ionian, Adriatic, Mediterranean and many other oceans made me feel one with the fish. That walking through Westminster Abbey made me feel like a royal princess. That surfing in the Pacific in Surf City USA made me feel like a true Cali surfer. That watching the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square in downtown Prague strike at noon made me feel like I was in the Renaissance. That riding a horse through the Arizona desert made me feel just like a Rolling Stone.
Without experiences like those, my memories would seem so mundane to me. Most of the time it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it could be just getting a fresh gelato or sitting in a museum staring at a painting, but for me, I want to forever live the moments that I never dreamed would come true.
Some spend money on cars, others on jewels, but me? I spend mine on exploring. Granted, everyone has their own desires in life, so with the same path that I have chosen travel, I encourage you to explore your own passions. Whether it’s collecting vintage coins, saving animals, playing a sport, or whatever it may be, pursue what is most important to you.
This I believe: without passion, life can sometimes seem mundane, so with that token, remember to go out and explore as much of the world as you possibly can.
I encourage you all to write your own ‘This I believe” and submit it to NPR. Here you can view others and even submit your own. I’ve attached one entitled The Beatles Live On but you can find many more on the website, good luck!