March 2, 2012
By Cameron Webster BRONZE, Maplewood, Missouri
Cameron Webster BRONZE, Maplewood, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I was 7 years old when I stepped onto my first airplane. My mother and I were headed to Cape Town, South Africa. She had a friend that was in a study program there. It took us 2 planes, 1 train, and a bus just to get to Cape Town. Now you can imagine a 7 year old whining and fidgeting on two 14 hour flights; how annoying that would be? That was me. I remember the guy behind me yelled at me to stop moving. Me and Mom are very big into traveling. It’s just something that has always interested us. We travel around the world and experience all the different cultures.

Some of the places we have been are Cape Town, Tokyo, Shanghai, and London. Now of course she has been to many more countries than I have. I think one of the reasons we both have an interest in traveling is because we’re both very open-minded people. We like change and experiencing all the different ways of life in the world. When you travel to a different country you kind of feel lost at times because everything is so different. The language and different terms can really confuse you in a different country.

My trip to South Africa was amazing. I got to stay there for 3 weeks during their spring. Cape Town is a beautiful city, where there’s always a light drizzle in the early morning to form a vibrant rainbow as the sun comes up; it is a sight you never forget. The people in Cape Town are very nice and welcoming. We went to a reservation about 30 miles away form the city. We stayed in a little cabin that barely had electricity. During the day at the reservation we would go take our car and drive through the park. There was such a wide variety of animals in the park. We saw kudos, a herd of elephants, warthogs, water buffalos, different kinds of birds, and antelopes. It was just a wonderful trip and I hope to return someday soon.

Now my trip to China and Japan was totally different experience. The city of Shanghai is a massive city, ridiculously big. We went to Shanghai for 3 days. In those three days we went to the Shanghai Zoo, heckled at the market, and took a night out on the town. Shanghai was a cool city, but it was really dirty due to the over population. But it had a lot of cool structures and buildings. Also the lights of the buildings at night kind of make the city glow. After our time in Shanghai we took a flight to Tokyo, Japan. There were a lot of similarities between Tokyo and Shanghai but they were definitely different. Tokyo was a huge city like Shanghai but it was a lot busier. There were a lot of cars and taxis that didn’t always follow the driving rules. When we were in Tokyo we really didn’t do any tourist things. We just explored the city by ourselves and hope the taxi drivers knew English. It was really hard for me to shop there because I am a giant compared to the Japanese, so there was no shoes or clothes in my size. The technology there is crazy, they are so more advanced than us.

Our time in Japan didn’t just include Tokyo but we also went to Yokohama, a city kind of in the mountain side of Japan. It was really nice to go to Yokohama because when people think of Japan they usually think of the big city. Yokohama is a city but not as big as Tokyo. It’s a beautiful city, mountains surround the big buildings and the rolling hills go on until you can’t see any further. When we were in Yokohama we would wake up early and watch the sunrise from behind the mountains, breathtaking. Also we went to the Ramen Noodle Museum. It was made to be like a Japanese city in the 40’s and you went around and picked the kind of ramen noodles you wanted. We also went on a hike that was very nice and refreshing.

My last trip was last year during spring break. My cousin, my mother, and I went to London. Now this was my second time being in London. The first time I went was on my way back from South Africa. We stopped in London for 2 days. This time we were there for 9 days. It was really cool to go with my cousin because my mom went for work so, Alex and I kind of just roamed the city by ourselves since London is an English speaking country. It was an amazing experience because we just learned the history by just taking the Underground around the city to see the monuments.

I think everyone should leave the country at least once in their life because it just gives you a new perspective. People need to get out of their comfort zones and experience some different ways of living. It really showed my how different every single person is because the things I do for free time or the things I do after school might not be the same as someone in Japan. I highly encourage you to try and get out of the country.

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