Ines Wang, C1, Travel Makes Me Grow

Travels Make Me Grow
Hello everyone. I’m Ines. I studied in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences in NTU and I’m a sophomore. Here I would like to share with you a trip which has changed my attitude toward life, and to let you know more about me.
Have you ever thought about why you live in the world and what kind of life you want to live? These questions struck me two years ago.
I was a girl who seldom had my own opinion. I always believed what my parents and teachers told me was sure to be the best options, and I had always been a good daughter and a good student. I tried my best to study hard, because I didn’t want to let them down. I never thought about what I really wanted. However, one day in the summer vacation before getting into college, the question ‘’why do I live?’’ struck me. I realized that the life I had live so far was the ideal life in my parents’ plan, but that was not the life I wanted. 18 years were enough to fulfill parents’ expectation. And it was time for me to live (out) my own life. At that moment, I decided to go traveling in order to explore this world, to find something I love on which I can spend my entire life, and try to make positive impact, though it might be small.
Last summer vacation, I applied to be a volunteer in Laos(說明一下中文是寮國), but I failed. Nevertheless, my classmate and I still went there. We wanted to know more about the life of people who live far away from us. In the beginning of our trip, we lived in the countryside. People there had a delightful (relaxing) life style. Earning money was necessary, but it wasn’t the most important thing in life. After work, they went to chat with neighbors and swan in the river. There were no beggars in the countryside because of a great custom. The people who were too poor to live will go to temples to seek for help. Monks will give them food, which the monks gained from villagers. Although there wasn’t lots of modern technology, everyone felt satisfied and happy about their life.
In the last few days of my trip, I went to the busy city in Laos. Compared with the people living in the countryside, I found that the people in city were not happy. They were busy learning English and earning money. On the second days in city, we visited Big brother mouse. It’s the bookstore which helps people in Laos improve there English. We became one-day volunteers by chatting with them in English to improve their English conversation skill. During the conversation, a boy asked me ‘are there lots of modern things in your country? The smile with content disappeared from his face and was supplanted by envious eyes. At that moment, I was confused. Are the values of western countries always suitable for other countries? Is following the ways western countries develop bound to lead people in Laos a better life? Are the things that we generally consider splendid always meaningful? We often force others to accept something we consider good, but ignore the differences between people and we forget to put ourselves in others’ shoes to consider what they really want and what they really need.
These are the priceless contemplations I got from my trip to Laos. There are a great number of things that we can’t learn from textbooks. But we can learn them by walking out and breaking our comfort zone. Therefore, “keep traveling and trying new things” became my motto.
Maybe I am ordinary, but I try hard to live an extraordinary life.
I’m Ines, a girl whose values are knocked down and rebuilt again and again after every wonderful journey. Toastmasters of the evening.

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