The lessons that comes with travel


By Madyna Nage



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Traveling can bring us many lessons to learn from if we are open to the experiences. I have traveled to many places in the world, and each place I go means something special to me. I’ve realized that traveling is something that I’ve always found joy in doing, as every destination is a different experience with a lesson to learn and a story to tell.

From America to Senegal: From someone that was born and raised in America, going to Africa for the first time was something that truly changed my life. My mom was raised in Senegal and this was my first time traveling there to see her family. When I walked out of the airport in Dakar, Senegal, I was amazed by the beauty that her home country holds. I saw a few of my family members for the first time in my life, waiting outside the airport with such excitement, embracing me with hugs and kisses. Within five minutes of being in the country, I already felt loved by people that I had never even met before, but known only through zoom calls and pictures. The first lesson I learned from traveling is that I get to meet people from all around the world and I sometimes stumble upon people I will always remember.

From North Philadelphia to Sidney: Another lesson of traveling is learning about different cultures all over the world. It’s very important to see diversity throughout this large world of ours. Going to Africa and living in Philadelphia helped me see this. Being born and raised in a huge city, I know the value of diversity and how important it should be to all of us. Diversity makes us all come together, coming from different races, ethnicities, and cultures. The paradox of immersing oneself in diversity is that we begin to see that we are all more alike than we think. We learn to appreciate the differences and can still celebrate our similarities.

I moved to Sidney from Philadelphia when I was nine years old. One chilly October morning, my siblings and I were on our way to Longfellow Elementary to start our first day of school. My dad dropped us off, we waved, and he drove away. I saw other children saying goodbye to their parents and going into the building too. We had this in common. However, I felt a nervousness in my stomach, knowing it wasn’t going to be an ordinary day for me. I was the new kid in a new place. I got introduced to my teacher, Miss Rowe, and as she had me follow her to my seat. I felt all eyes on me. I sat, looking around, finding only two other people of color in the entire classroom, one being a family friend. Going to school in Philadelphia, it was usually the other way around with the majority of my classmates being black, Hispanic and Asian. All the students and staff also spoke and dressed differently than what I was used to seeing and hearing, so this was a huge cultural shock. I learned to adapt to the differences and embrace my new environment.

Traveling Has Made Me Bilingual: It’s always been interesting for me to see people coming from different parts of the world and speaking multiple languages. I’ve seen people, even my own friends and family who go to Africa and Europe for vacation, some come back speaking another language fluently and others come back speaking pieces of a language they could not speak before they traveled. I grew up speaking Fulani with my parents and elders, but I wasn’t very fluent in it until I went to Mauritania for the first time to visit my grandmother. On my very first day back from Africa, I arrived at my house with my sisters. We waited for my parents and older sister, Hawa, to come back home from work and school. It was about 4 p.m. when they arrived at home and we were greeted with big hugs and handshakes. We surprised them by speaking Fulani to show them how much we had learned in the time we spent with our grandmother. My parents sat there in shock, amused by the fluency of the language we were speaking, while my older sister jokingly mocked us in envy. We laughed at their reactions and continued showing them what we had learned by singing and dancing in our cultural way.

Another lesson I have learned from traveling is that it is wonderful to have something exciting to look forward to. A lot of us have the same daily routines: school, work, home, and repeat. When you travel, you can look forward to the different things you get to do when you get to your destination. Everytime I travel, whether it’s near or far, I always find something to look forward to. Sometimes it is the small things that are the most exciting. When I was in my village in the west African country of Mauritania, I found a small thing that was very special to me. Every morning, I would wake up to breakfast in bed with rich-tasting coffee like none other in this world. After breakfast and showering, I would walk to my grandmother’s house with my brother to spend the rest of the beautiful mornings with her. As it was mid July in the Saharan desert, it would get too hot some days, being over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of walking, we would ride a horse carriage to her house. This routine was my favorite part of traveling to Africa as my grandmother would tell me a legendary story every single day that I went to visit her.

Not all of us have gotten the chance to travel all over the world. Maybe we plan to one day, maybe not. But it’s still important to know the values and importance of traveling, even if it’s not far. Every place you go you’ll meet different people with different cultures whether it’s from a city in the United States or another country all together. Many advantages come with traveling, especially when you decide to be open to new experiences. Traveling is something that comes with a mix of emotions, but nonetheless, you’ll realize that with each trip, you’re making unforgettable memories.

Nage
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By Madyna Nage

Madyna Nage is the daughter of Hamady Nage and Dieynaba Diallo. She is a senior at Sidney High School. After graduation, she plans on moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to attend Drexel University and study Business Administration. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her friends and family. This summer, she is looking forward to going to Philadelphia to get ready for college and spend time with her friends while she’s there.

Madyna Nage is the daughter of Hamady Nage and Dieynaba Diallo. She is a senior at Sidney High School. After graduation, she plans on moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to attend Drexel University and study Business Administration. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her friends and family. This summer, she is looking forward to going to Philadelphia to get ready for college and spend time with her friends while she’s there.