I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity at a young age to travel outside the country, and experience different cultures, religions, foods, and languages, all within the span of my 17 years. From Thailand, to Australia, to Mexico, Italy, and beyond, my scope of life has been broadened every time I step foot on a plane.
Two years ago, I discovered a group called Rustic Pathways. It is a youth travel organization that has paired up with different local tribes and communities across the world to help young philanthropic students visit regions and work with the local people, in a setting that would never have been possible. I joined my group in Australia where I traveled to Alice Springs, and journeyed into the outback, to meet with the Aborigines. I learned their culture, beliefs, and the habitual patterns/history of these tribes. From this opportunity, I was able to travel to Southeast Asia during this past summer, where I ventured into the beautiful lands of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. I learned the local languages, religions, and foods of each nation, while educating myself on topics like the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh’s ruling in Vietnam. I left these countries with a feeling of extreme gratitude for my upbringing and opportunities, as well as the desire to continue my education on other cultures and help those in need across the globe.
In Bangkok, we woke up early to feed the Monks at the monestary.
In Chiang Mai, we visited a Elephant Rehabilitation Center where we bathed and fed elephants.
In Cambodia, we visited temples and learned about the Khmer Rouge.
In Laos, we took a river boat to a small town two hours up the river and learned about the lives of those locals.
In the outback of Australia, we rode camels to the infamous Ayers Rock and learned about it's importance in native life.
In Cairns, we met with a marine biologist who taught us about the health of the reefs and the species we would see!
In Sydney, we worked at a nature park where we mulched the habitats of the emus, kangaroos, and wallabys.
In Vietnam, we cruised through Halong Bay and learned about the beautiful region.