In 6th grade, I had to memorize all of the countries and major bodies of water in the world. A blank map placed in front of me for the big test in social studies class. My love for travel had developed before this but to learn about the world made my passion even stronger.
There are 196 countries in our great world. As of 2009, we speak & recognize 6,909 distinct languages. There is one global ocean named the "World" that makes up 71% of the Earth. There are 5 major oceans: Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern (Antarctica).
In my life so far, I have been to 18 countries. I have a lot to go to reach 196. I have been to 40 states in the U.S. and have plans to knock off a few more on the list this year. I love planning trips to see the amazing things around the world.
I feel so passionate about travel and the importance it has had on my life that I wrote an entire chapter on it in my book 25 Before 25. The cultures that I have encountered have changed me for the better. Through travel, I have learned so much about myself and my surroundings. I have been challenged by losing technology and my cultural clutches in small towns. Having to develop a broader frame of reference for carrying myself through life, the largest journey I have experienced while traveling has been the world within. I have opened my heart to the vast world before me allowing me to fully see myself for who I am and what I love.
By paying more attention to the news and world around me this past week, I have learned so much about various cultures and countries that I have yet to dig deep into. I see the Middle East in all its fear and rage over religious differences. I see the compassion and love that Spain, France, and Germany are showing through the horrible plane crash in the French Alps. From our babysitter, Mary, I feel the warmth and family bonds bred into the Kenyan culture.
If you look around, you can learn all about our world right in your own backyard!