My childhood went by in a blur. From being jet-lagged after thirteen-hour flights, to traveling to some of the far corners of world, my childhood was anything but ordinary. I was born in Oregon, but after my parents landed jobs as international teachers, our family boarded a plane to the Philippines.
We were considered upper-class there, even though we were just a middle class American Family. I don’t remember much about the Philippines. From my parent’s stories, I know that we had a nanny, a cook, a gardener, a driver and guards. This might seem lavish but it’s true. We were giving these people jobs, which they might never have had otherwise.
After living in the Philippines my parents decided that it was time for another move. So at four years old I was off to South America to live in a third world country, Ecuador. Some of my very first memories were made there, and for that reason Ecuador holds a special place in my heart.
Many of the people in Ecuador lived in poverty. I remember one Christmas we donated presents to a group of people that were literally living by the dump. It made me feel good knowing that I had helped.
After living in a third world country, it was quite a shock to move to the United Arab Emirates, where wealth was common. During our two years in the U.A.E we traveled to other countries, such as Egypt, Nepal, Greece, Austria, Oman, and Qatar.
The biggest culture shock of my life was coming back to Oregon. Moving to my suburban home was a big change from living in gated communities. When I was overseas I knew tons of people who traveled as much as me. When I moved back, suddenly my true stories of my life were seen as bragging. So for the most part I kept quiet about my travels.
Seeing places in nooks and crannies all over the world has made me realize just how fortunate I am. I was exposed to to both extremes of poverty and wealth at such a young age. It makes me ever so hungry to give back to those countries that I traveled to and are in dire need of aid. So as soon as I am old enough I want to devote myself to help those countries which are forever engraved in my memories.
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