Have you ever been accused of being sheltered? Because I sure have. Coming from a small private school it was always thrown around about how we were sheltered. We had a tight knit group of friends and family and our opinions stemmed from our parents. High school then came around, instead of a small school, it was a catholic school. Thus the accusations of being sheltered lived on. Little did I know, all I needed was a roadtrip to open up the world to me.
This two week road trip took place the summer I was 14. My family and I drove the 1,540 miles to the Grand Canyon with many other stops over a span of 2 weeks. This was the first time I left the south and explored west. Traveling into a land of new experiences and unknowns just as the explorers did centuries ago. I did not know how this trip would impact me, but I knew it would.
One thing this trip did for me was to open my eyes to the ways people live. This was brought to my attention when we hiked through the Navajo National Monument. This strenuous hike was in the dead heat of summer and led by a Navajo native. The hike was more than a hike, it was instead an eye opener to different cultures. The Navajos live off the land. They use everything they are able to from the land. The guide talked about his ancestors who lived in cliff dwellings. This amazed me. This made me realize that if people could make due living in a cliff hundreds of years ago, then I can do anything I put my mind to.
This trip also opened my eyes to the grandness of the world. The first time seeing the Grand Canyon is a memory nobody will ever forget. I guess in a way this put my life into perspective. I am just a little part of a larger whole. Looking into the Canyon is an incredible feeling. Not being able to see the entirety makes you step back and reflect on your life. It makes for reflection and inspiration. In this case, I was inspired to see the world from a new perspective when I went home. A perspective that included not taking the world we live in for granted, taking better care of the planet, and allowing myself to step into other people shoes.
All in all, this trip impacted me in ways I could have never imagined. I came back to home with a greater understanding of the my place in this world. I realized that there were more places and people to meet then I before thought. This trip opened my sheltered mind up to see the ways in which other people in the same country live. Since this trip, my family and I have continued to explore the country in hopes of opening our views to new people and cultures.