When I was very young, I made the choice that I wanted to live different places.
My theory was that it would give me a well-rounded understanding of people and places. It was almost like a social experiment where I would engage different parts of the country and partake in their cultures.
I have done that for the most part. While I have only visited the western United States, I have lived in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the Southern states, which included my stay in Texas. The one thing I found was that people are really the same everywhere you go. Their religious beliefs and traditions and the foods they eat and the things they drink might be different, but when you get down to brass tacks — we are all very similar. I have been back in Pennsylvania for almost three years, been in New Castle the last two.
I can say that I have been able to meet people from all walks of life, and I will continue to try and meet new people.
I knew by the time I was a sophomore in high school that my options would be limited had I stayed in my hometown. I could graduate and go to college, which I did. I could graduate and to go the military, or I could graduate and go to work in one of the factories, many of which have closed in the last 15 years.
I knew by that same point in time I wanted to be a sports reporter. So, I took some high school journalism classes before going off to college. I also worked at my hometown newspaper the end of my senior year.
I encourage everyone to travel. Go new places. Don’t be afraid to mix with the locals. Travel. Learn. Experience.
It will definitely give you a well-rounded view of the world, and it will help you to become more understanding at the same time.
I have vacation coming up in two weeks. I have a list of places I would like to go. None of them are technically new, but places I have not been to in many years.
My options are small towns and forests, or way out in the boondocks where there is no light or air pollution and the streams run crystal clear.
Wherever I end up, I will be sure to take my curiosity with me. I may come up with some new destinations between now and then. But I will be going somewhere and learning and experiencing.
I encourage you to do the same not just this summer, but every single day.