Opinion: Traveling expands both hearts and minds

By Allison Detloff, Social Media Editor — Traveling allows a person to explore new places, make friends and learn more about the culture in the world around them. Many students decide to take on this adventure and discover places outside of the United States.

Senior Sofia Stamaton has been to numerous places throughout the country in addition to traveling to Canada and the Caribbean with her family. Stamaton also has been to Greece and Italy with her church’s Greek dance group.

“The best part of traveling for me is seeing all of the different cultures,” Stamaton said. “In Europe there are so many differences to how people live than there are in the U.S. and getting to experience a bit of how they live is something so memorable.”

Traveling to both Thailand and the Dominican Republic on mission trips allowed senior Justice Furno to realize how much he has in his own country.

“In the Dominican Republic we, as in my church missions team, served with a local church to put on a Vacation Bible School, help build a house and deliver gift baskets to families in need. In Thailand, we were there to serve and help those who are, or have been, trapped in human trafficking,” Furno said. “When I travel, I gain personal perspective on life and how blessed I am. Gaining perspective and learning from others is definitely one of the best parts.”

Taking adventures to new areas is a way to discover places out of the ordinary to create extraordinary memories.

“If I had to say a specific place that was my favorite I would have to say an island in Greece, Santorini. The sunsets there are something no picture could ever compare,” Stamaton said. “It was absolutely beautiful. When my friends and I went to see the sunset it was so packed so we decided to go off trail a bit and climb over some barbed wire and do some jumping to have the best seat in the house all to ourselves.”

Teacher Jill Collet has been to many places in the U.S., along with Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Chile, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Canada.

On a recent visit to Chile to visit a friend, Collet rang in the New Year with her friend’s family, some of whom only spoke spanish.

“Our friend’s whole family was there celebrating, including his 90 year old Grandma, who did not speak a work of English,” Collet said. “I don’t speak Spanish, but somehow we were still able to communicate.”

Planning for a trip can be a difficult endeavor, especially when it come to what to wear.

“I would say the most difficult part for me is the packing,” Collet said. “My husband was not happy when he had to haul around my huge suitcase when we were in Italy and France. I have gotten much better over the years and can not pack in a carry on for a 3 week trip.”

Traveling is a great way for both students and teachers to see new places and meet new people. Along with this it gives the traveler memories that will last a lifetime.

[Updated Aug. 20, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]