What do you value?
When a group of friends got together, I was often asked this question, “Hey! How many countries have you been to?” Always a long one to answer. So I started, “I have been to Japan three times, once to Korea, three times to Hong Kong and Moscow, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, four times to America, the longest one I stayed there for 10 months as an exchange student. And also, just this past summer, I took two trips to Europe, one to Germany and Switzerland, the other one I went to Austria and Czech Republic. Plus, another short trip to Japan at the end of August. This is what their faces usually look like when I finished it. “Do your parents earn millions…per day?”
Contest chair, fellow Toastmasters! No, my parents really don’t earn as much. In fact, they are still paying the mortgage after almost 20 years living in Tienmu. I’m not form a super rich family. It all comes back to the main point of my speech today, what do you value in your life?
I once looked at my mom and said, “Mommy, do girls always have their makeup on and dress up all the time?” “Sometimes, but what makes someone beautiful is here and here.” My mom never really has makeup on, and she doesn’t wear or buy fancy clothes all the time. We only get to buy new clothes when the New Year comes. Also, My dad once drove a second handed old car for over 10 plus years. So, now you know where all our money went. Traveling.
The very first trip in my life was to Japan, and at that time, I was only 10…months old. I do believe that’s how my parents influenced me. Brought me abroad when I wasn’t even conscious! So I turned out just like my mom, fascinated by traveling.
Lots of people would say, “Of course you love traveling, how can you not like it when you have the chance to take the plane abroad and have fun?” Very true, but there’s something more. What would you sacrifice for that? My parents set a great example for me. They save money in everyway they can. But when it comes to traveling, they will love to spend it without a second thought. The money we spend on traveling can surely get us a new fancy car.
So why do we value traveling, this specific thing in our life? Because we do believe it is something that can really open up your eyes, broaden your horizon. It’s when you can match what your learn in your history text book to real life. This summer, I went to Austria. Very beautiful scenery, we went up to the mountain, where is also the boarder between Austria and Germany. I was standing at the spot where the famous politician Adolf Hitler was standing. He once looked down on Austria and said he’s gonna take over this land. If you have been there, you know how magnificent that kind of feeling is. Not that I want to start the World War 3. But you can just feel the past, present, and future just right in that spot.