Traveling to Make a Difference
By Sara McCombs
December 25, 2016
Sara is a member of the class of 2016 from Roger Williams University, whom which she traveled with to Hispaniola to perform service work with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. It was during this time spent in the Dominican Republic and Haiti that Sara realized how much she cares about others, and travel writing.
Traveling is always an exciting experience; new places, new people, new foods, and new landscapes to spend days exploring. Traveling allows for a person to extend themselves beyond their usual comfort zones and to experience a way of living they are not familiar with.
Traveling to see a difference is to explore the country a person has chosen to travel to, but almost as though they are looking through a lens of the less glamorous side of the country. This lens allows a large barrier to be between themselves and the things they wish to not associate with. Upon returning home, it is talk about their hotel room amenities, the overpriced food they consumed, and how much they enjoyed their preplanned day trips.
Traveling to make a difference is a life changing experience. It is traveling to foreign places and spending nights with some who have been kind enough to open their homes to you, sharing meals with them, helping them wash dishes in tubs, and playing with their children. It is teaching group educational meetings, on topics such as but not limited to practicing safe sex, or how to help reduce the spreading of disease, or to use readily available resources to help retain sustainable. It is a learning experience for everyone who is attending these meetings. Often times, one must put aside their own cultural norms to embrace those of the place they are in.
After an extensive time traveling to help others, returning home is often times the most difficult part. The goodbyes to the locals you’ve befriended along the way, and the feeling of guilt returning home to your hot shower… But traveling this way is rewarding because you know you have helped to make a difference in someone’s life by building friendships with some you may never have been able to previously.
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