Buy Me A Plane Ticket
It made me think of a time during high school when I wanted to go to Europe. My friends and I all planned to visit a city, any city, as long as it was in Europe. We had all heard of how fun it would be to travel abroad, especially over there where there was practically no drinking age. Two of us took Spanish, another one took French and the oddball of the group took Latin (not sure where she would have used it). During homeroom and study hall we tried to map out where we would go. We could never decide on a city. But it was fun talking about it.
The brainstorming is as far as it went. None of our parents agreed to let four fifteen year olds go to Europe unchaperoned. My father wisely told me, "Visit the Philippines first and then I will buy you a plane ticket to go anywhere else". He wanted me to learn a bit about the Filipino heritage, see the places where he and my mother had grown-up. I politely declined (well most likely threw a spoiled tantrum) and then discussed with my friends how "unfair" our parents were being.
As the years passed, we stopped talking about Europe and focused more on going to college. While in college, I joined a group called F.A.S.A. (Filipino American Student Association).I connected with other Filipinos who like me had spent their whole lives in the U.S. They even had a tutor to teach the language (I gave up after a couple lessons. Tagalog was much more difficult than Spanish).
After I graduated from undergrad with a biology degree, I opted to go the Philippines for medical school (yes I didn't get accepted at any of my schools of choice), rather than go to a Carribean school. I felt I could meet some of the relatives I hadn't met and it would also be an experience for me. And it was just that, an experience. I learned a lot about myself and also their culture. I feel I'm a better person for having gone there.
Anyway, I completely digressed. I'm in favor of travel, especially for the college/high school folk. But I wasn't sure about just giving money to those students. If they were part of a school organization, I would gladly have given them a couple bucks--maybe even more than I would have wanted to. Every person should take the opportunity to vist another county. I just was wary cause they weren't wearing uniforms and their signs didn't indicated membership to any club.
Again, back to the topic! I think travel abroad gives a person perspective. It certainly gave me an appreciatiton of all I have and everything I've taken forgranted. It helped to open my eyes to certain rights and priveledges. Most of all, it helped me to realize the grass will be the greenest in almost heaven West Virginia!
P.S. I hope I didn't make anyone dizzy with all these tangents. It's way passed my bedtime, but I couldn't sleep so I blogged.