Good to go: Why traveling broadens the mind and changes perspective


Kelly Wei

After traveling out of the country, CHS students reflect on the positives of new, global experiences. With the opportunity to leave the Coppell bubble comes eye-opening sights.

We see a lot of the same people, deal with the same situations and interact with similar beliefs in our Coppell bubble. Though Coppell has become increasingly diverse over the years, it is no secret that we tend to surround ourselves around like-minded people. We become comfortable; we become closed off.

However, it is travelling that pushes us out of that zone of familiarity.

Coppell High School senior Nikitha Vicas has travelled to many countries including Jamaica, England, France, Singapore, Japan and more. The opportunity to travel has broadened her prospects on how to improve our country and state of living.

“In Japan, where it is very similar to the U.S. in that we have lots of skyscrapers and massive buildings, the transportation system is so much more efficient,” Vicas said. “You could get from one end of the island to the other end in maybe three hours, as opposed to here where we get from Dallas to Austin in three hours.”

Vicas also commented on the industrial, yet environmentally-aware nature of Japan. It is a common thought that to experience strong economic growth, environmental procedures need to be forgone. Japan proved otherwise.

“I thought that it was really neat that the whole week I was in Japan, I didn’t see a single piece of trash,” Vicas said. “The skies were clear and pollution wasn’t evident. It was cool to see how there can still be technological advancement, but maintain environmental responsibility.”

CHS senior Amela Pjetrovic has visited Montenegro, Australia, Mexico, Bosnia, Croatia and Albania. She quickly noticed the simple, comfortable and healthy lifestyles of those abroad.

“Food was a lot healthier in Montenegro,” Pjetrovic said. “Their lifestyles are much more simple. They grow their own food and have cows in their backyards.”

This appreciation for the natural world is something that gets forgotten during the high-stress of living in the United States. The International Labor Organization even found that “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers and 499 more hours per year than French workers”. When noticing the more balanced lifestyles of those abroad, it reminds us to step back from the hectic nature of American life and relax.

The flip side is also presented when traveling: appreciating what we take for granted in Coppell. Through going abroad, it is evident that others do not enjoy the same luxuries that come to us with ease.

After traveling to Canada, Switzerland, France, England, China and more, CHS senior Tyler Huang has new found appreciations for his home.

“I’ve become more grateful,” Huang said. “In China, there isn’t even running water everywhere. We waste water all the time here. It just showed how unequal the world is, and how easy it is to be blinded by the privilege we have here.”

Pjetrovic has gratitude towards our ease in attaining an education in the United States.

“Whenever I’m in Montenegro, I realize how lucky I am to go to school,” Pjetrovic said. “The schools there aren’t that good and kids have to travel to other cities to really get a good education. It makes me more grateful for what we have here and reminds me of why people want to come to the U.S. for school.”

Traveling is not just about seeing the most luxurious, Instagram-worthy sights. It also includes seeing new cultures and ways of life.

“Reading about different cultures is so different from actually experiencing it,” Vicas said. “In the Netherlands, if you just travel 10 minutes out of major cities, it’s full of farms. It’s completely different from what you expect. It’s cool to experience daily life somewhere else, but here.”

These experiences abroad have the ability to profoundly change people’s mindsets politically and morally.

“Other countries in Europe are much more liberal, so I feel like my opinions have broadened a bit,” Vicas said. “At the same time, though, you also see things that you are happy aren’t in America. For example, the U.S. is not as liberal as the Netherlands, and that’s a good thing.”

Pjetrovic adds that she has become much more open-minded after traveling.

“I’ve learned about so many different cultures and languages,” Pjetrovic said. “It’s just taught me to be more opening, accepting and global-minded.”

This summer, venture out of your comfort zone. Whether it be to leave the country, taste exotic foods or attend cultural events, experiencing a new culture and lifestyle can have profound effects on your mindset.