Exploring the Homefront
With all the glitz and glamour that surrounds studying in a foreign country, we tend to forget that we have an entire country to explore as well. At my university, we offer study trips to different states in addition to those that are to different countries. Our university believes in exploring our own country’s cultures as well those of foreign places.
I like studying abroad; I like to see cultures that are so foreign to me that sometimes I question what I have gotten myself into. Some people don’t like that, and that’s okay. Not everyone enjoys the adventure that comes with exotic places. Some people enjoy the adventure that comes with driving their car six hours in any direction in the USA. That’s brilliant.
The United States is massive—India, Libya, England, Ireland, Germany, and loads of other countries can fit inside of the United States. There are few countries that are actually larger than the US (China and Russia being a couple of them). So with all this landmass, who wouldn’t want to explore the great country that we call home? The US is an adventure in itself.
There are many different cultures located in our country; there are the bluegrass roots in West Virginia, the good old southern cooking in Alabama, the Latin flare in Florida, the Mexican spice to Arizona, and countless others. The states within the country act as individual countries. I know people who live a state away from me and had an entirely different upbringing than I did. Just because we are from the same country doesn’t mean that we experience the same cultures. America is the melting pot.
If you don’t think you will feel comfortable traveling thousands of miles away from your family, friends, and your life as you know it, I’ll say it again, THAT’S OKAY. Not everyone wants to spend weeks or even months away from what they are familiar with. That’s why exploring America is perfect—you can go as near or as far as you want. You live in Los Angeles and want to see how Elvis used to get down in Memphis? Go for it. You live in Miami but have always wondered about the music scene in Atlanta? Take a trip up north! In America, the possibilities are endless.
For this Fourth of July holiday, I challenge you all to make a list of all the cities you want to see; they can be cities in America, cities in Europe, cities in Asia, heck they can even be cities in outer space! My point is, you should explore new places both near and far. See your country, see the world, or better yet see both. You never know what new adventure is waiting outside your door for you. Take advantage of all there is available to you. Get your friends together, and start making memories that will last you the rest of your life. I promise you won't regret it. Happy July 4th, everyone!
(Photo taken from http://www.thefabuloustimes.com/travel-usa-roadtrip-the-latest/)