The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Shifting Perspectives Through Travel

Article on the page Artwork by Tatiana Fecowycz

Travel is undoubtedly one of the best ways to create new experiences and learn more about the world. Through spending time in different places, one is able to gather more information on different cultures, lifestyles, ways of thinking and different belief systems. Many of those who have traveled to different countries experienced a dramatic change in their lifestyle, opened their  minds to a different way of viewing the world and have gained new perspectives. Opportunities to broaden a view of the world have come from travel reasons like school trips, teen tours, vacation and work reasons. Familiar faces in our community have shared their experiences with Optic and explained how they have broadened their perspectives by traveling to new places.

Sigal Goldstein ’24: Exploration in Africa

“I went to Tanzania, Africa this summer. When I first thought of Africa, I made an incorrect generalization that the majority of people are upset and depressed since they live in poverty. While there are definitely individuals who feel that way, I was surprised to see how happy and lively impoverished towns like Maji Mogo were. The kids all the way up to the adults do not know any difference. They might not know what it’s like to get their nails done or to wear makeup, but they are so ok with that because they’re happy and they truthfully love their life. The famous saying, “Hakuna Matata” actually originated in Tanzania, and it means no worries. That’s the motto that the Tanzanian people live by. At any time, people will just say “Hakuna Matata.” I was taught while I was there three different songs that are known throughout the entire country and every single one mentions “Hakuna Matata.” So one thing that I carried into my life in America is that I need to remember to take a step back from a stressful time.”

Ava Berman ’24: Study Abroad in Israel

“While I was in Israel, I learned a lot from different cultures. I saw different communities and how they lived. Rather than learning about the different cultures from a textbook, we would go on trips to see how people lived. We saw how people lived on a Kibbutz, we got to see how Jews lived in different communities and even how Arab communities lived. I learned a lot about Israeli studies and a lot about their history and antisemitism. When I came back, I decided to be a leader and confront antisemitism. I joined Teen Israel Leadership Council to help college and high school students to confront antisemitism.”

Olivia Berger ’24: Teen Tour in Spain, Portugal and Morocco

“This summer, I went to Spain, Portugal and Morocco for 18 days. I went on a Teen Tour, which is basically a program where a group of kids in high school from all around the world meet for the first time and travel together to different places. My perspective on travel has definitely changed from the trip. I had been to Europe before, but I think this was like a reinforcement of how different our lives are. When I imagine a big city, I imagine New York City, how there are buildings, skyscrapers, new technology, new buildings; everything is modern. But when you go to Europe, everything is just old and it feels like you’re kind of transported back in time. It’s just very traditional and unique. I feel like the history is preserved there, which is really cool.

Morocco was completely different. Morocco was something I had never experienced before. It’s a country that I have never really thought about going to. It’s a very different way of life. There are different foods, different kinds of rules you have to follow to be respectful and different ways of getting around, you just kind of appreciate more modern technology. Morocco is in Africa, and I’ve never been to Africa before. The buildings are so close together; the marketplace is huge. We got to meet the locals and they taught us about a bunch of different stuff from their culture. We went to this Moroccan argan oil forest that makes oil for hair, and they taught us about their traditions. It’s really a beautiful country. There are some things I’ve taken from those different cultures and put them into my daily life, like cooking. Their food had a big impact on me. When I was in Morocco, I bought a bunch of spices, and I love cooking with those spices now. I got this herbal mint tea and I literally drink it all the time. I think this trip changed me and I have a newfound respect for travel in general. I think it’s really important for people to go, when they can, outside of America to experience these different cultures and experience those countries like a local would.”

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