Mom, Dad and I have made it back to the USA safe and sound. I am glad to be back home, but I could have traveled longer. I’ve learned so much this year and one of the big things is how much stuff I don’t need. In Africa, people had almost nothing and still were smiling everywhere they went. People didn’t need to have something in their hands, like a toy or a phone. All they needed was each other. I’m coming back here and am going to really think hard before I buy something. I’m going to say to myself, “Do I need this?” or “How much do I want this?” I’ve also learned that I need to get outside in nature much more. On a beautiful night, instead of watching tv in my dark basement, I could go to the park with some friends and play night games.
In Asia, people sometimes would just walk right up to us and start talking. Some people even stopped us and started to take selfies with us! At first I thought that it was very weird and maybe something was wrong with them. Maybe it was because we looked so different than the Asian people and they were curious. In America, people might smile at you and maybe say hello, but hardly anybody will start a conversation if they see you in the street. I think it is so hard to get out of the box we are all in, to get out of our own little world and go talk with someone that we do not know.
Another thing I noticed on our Asian trip was that in Thailand, people were very respectful. They clasped their hands together and bowed to each other and to older people. Also, some people in Asia had only a basket with lemons in it and were selling the lemons. That was all they did for a living. They go out and sit on the street and hope that someone will want to buy a lemon. I can’t imagine my parents making a living selling lemons day after day.
In the eight months of my travels, my four favorite places were: Tanzania on the safari; South Africa doing mission work; Hanoi, Vietnam just walking around the city; and the cruise boat in Halong Bay with my new friends. I want to thank everyone who is taking the time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed it!