Gaining Perspective


There are a lot of events in my life that have shaped me into the person I am today. 

One that I remember vividly is my first time visiting Colombia when I was 10 years old. My dad was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, and lived there up until he was 19. He believed it was important that I see a different part of the world and a different culture. 

At the time, I didn’t know exactly what to expect, I was just thinking about going to my grandparent’s house. Looking back on it now, I am glad that I got to experience it.

The airport we arrived in was in the capital of the country, Bogota, so it was more of a cityscape and downtown area than where my grandparents lived. As we moved farther and farther out from the capital, I began to see more and more of what the country was actually like. It is a very busy and commuter-heavy place. Every inch of the road is filled with cars or motorcycles. 

There are a lot of motorcycles. 

The way their suburbs are organized, the more wealthy or higher class buildings were fenced off and you had to go through a closed gate. The lower class areas were just spread out wherever there was room, meaning people were sitting on the side of the road, sitting on rooftops, everywhere you looked you could find someone’s living area. 

This made me feel sad, guilty and happy all at the same time. I was sad that people had to live and go to school in conditions like these. I felt guilty with how I have just taken everything for granted, where I live and how I never really realized how much I did have.

Being able to experience that and seeing for myself how other parts of the world actually are, really opened my eyes 

When I arrived back in the U.S. I became more appreciative of the freedom and accommodations we have. I am now able to look at different cultures and appreciate them for what they are and what they believe in. That trip, and many other trips to Colombia, opened my mind to a whole new world of culture and understanding, which in turn has affected me as a person and how I see everything around me.

I now understand what I have and what others don’t, I try to not be spoiled in times where I am given something or receive something. Whenever I go to Colombia now, I see it for what it is, and see how people actually live. They are content with their conditions because it is all they know. Which makes me look back to what I used to only know, and helps me understand different parts of the world in a better way.