TRAVELING TO NICARAGUA this past summer was a life-changing experience for me. Although I had always wanted to do something like travel to another country, I never thought I would ever get the chance to actually do it.
My experience in Nicaragua was a one of a kind learning experience. I was challenged in so many ways and I grew so much from it. I had never been away from home for more than a few days, so being in whole different country without my family and friends for three weeks was hard for me.
I learned how to deal with homesickness and learned how to adjust to a new environment. I got to see so many things that I could’ve never seen back in San Francisco. I was able to see poverty with my own eyes. I saw little children beg for food and money. It broke my heart to see all the hardships that people in other countries had to go through.
It made me more aware of the problems that exist in our world. I also learned a lot about Nicaraguan culture, politics, and history.
We visited many different places, including a volcanic lagoon, the mayor’s office, nearby schools, a farm, and even a chocolate factory. Two times a week, we would teach English to locals.
We had nightly meetings every night to discuss what we took away from each day. At the end of the trip, we even raised over $500 to donate to organizations and we donated clothing, school supplies, and more.
Going on this trip to Nicaragua has really made me appreciate the things that I have at home. I realize how many opportunities are available to me and I feel very lucky to be able to
go to school and get an education. However, it also makes me want to give back to the world and to use the resources that are available to me to help fight poverty in countries around the world.
I am currently working on a project to raise money and collect used clothing and shoes to give back to Nicaragua. I feel as if my project is a way to give back to Nicaragua and what it has taught me about life.
Do you remember your very first travel experience? Share your reflections with our Brave New Travelers in the comment section below.
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