When I was growing up, my family spent so much time taking these road trips. We hung-dry our clothes, we never went out to eat, my mom had Folgers coffee instead of having Starbucks. Travel was our one thing. We punted most other luxuries in life. We could cram into our Chevy Venture minivan, see all America, and have my sister and I fight over what VHS tape would go in next (remember those)? The drives were long and boring sometimes. There was plenty of yelling and fighting between the four of us, but I was about to see the whole united states of America before I graduated high school. In school, I would learn about the battle of Gettysburg, get lectured, and see some black and white videos. On these vacations, I saw Gettysburg with my own eyes. I saw re-enactments from the Civil War. That brought history alive for me. I experienced different cultures around the united states. I experienced how the spoke, what they wore, what they ate (yum!), and how they added to the American cultures. When we went to Alaska, my dad and I went to the actual towns. We skipped the tourist traps and saw the small businesses that were the backbone of Alaska. I got the best souvenirs from these locals. I met people from all over who would help me understand the world that I saw.
From these experiences that I’m so thankful for, I ventured out on my own and went to England by myself. For a month. I grew so much during that month and I was so grateful for my friend’s hospitality. I loved going to the local pubs and talking about my country and theirs. We both had so many misconceptions and stereotypes, but talking as people we got to understand each other so much better. I met so many new people and friends throughout the month. Even though I had only a backpack for everything I held, I felt home with the warm hospitality of others. The world can be scary sometimes, but not everywhere all the time like CNN would suggest.
I’ll never forget to have Christmas in Liverpool. I woke up Christmas morning and my good friend Jesse told me to come down for presents. My parents gave me money for my trip, so I figured I would watch him open his. When I get down there, his parents point to a pile of presents and told me they were for me. I was so speechless. I had no idea this would happen. I still smile when of this memory. I loved the fun of the last few days of my trip in London. I had another friend show me around the city the entire day! Again, I saw the parts that were London and didn’t fall for any tourist traps. When I flew back home, I now had a global perspective on how big the world is.
I’m now vlogging and blogging about my travels. I enjoy documenting these trips for a few reasons. The first is I can look back in time and see how far I’ve come. I also get to expose my friends, family, and followers parts of the world they will never experience.
On a trip to Phoenix, I got to help out with a non-profit that helps get women back on their feet and reunify them with their children. There has been no big news story. No heartwarming article was written. When I was there, I gave a little shout out on one of my Youtube videos. If I was traveling and meeting new people, few people would know that kind of good in the world exists. There is so much more good in the world, we don’t show enough of that positive change.
Through my travels, I continue to gain new insights, make new friends, and see how much more good there is out in this amazing world.
This is a guest post by Nate Johnson, who blogs at Above Average Nate. If you would like to write a guest post of your own or even become a contributor for Amos, you can click “Contact” or just email us. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.