I didn’t know how to appreciate my diverse background until I met people from all over the world at an international boarding school that I went to in Thornwood, New York. All of a sudden, I realized how cool my background was and slowly I learned to become grateful for how this diversity and inclusion has prepared me to be an open-minded global citizen.
My parents are immigrants from Myanmar to Taiwan, where I was born and raised until I was 15 years old. Just like every parent, they have moved to Taiwan for a better future. They aspired to send me abroad for a more leveraged opportunity. While my parents literally moved to a different country with nothing— they didn’t know the language spoken in Taiwan, didn’t have any connections, and not to mention any financial support— I was lucky enough to have all the resources when I moved to New York, USA.
There, I realized the world is gigantic, yet super small at the same time. The culture shock was real when you would see kids from Europe wear designer clothes all the time and the subtle racism could be frustrating when people thought Asians eat steak with chopsticks too. Yet when I gathered the courage to respect the differences and cross out of my comfort zone, that is when my world literally shrunk.
In the course of three years at my high school, I have befriended with some of the most amazing people that I have met in my life. My best friends are all from very different backgrounds than mine, but our open mindset and an ambition to pursue and achieve our goals bring us together.
I thought it’d be so hard to see my friends after graduation, especially because now they are scattered all over the world— some stay in the East Coast, a few moved to Asia, and most go to Europe for school. However, I thought to myself: If I can just travel to the States so often for school from Taiwan, how hard can it be to just fly to see my friends?
This spring break, I flew to London to see three of my dearest friends. It might sound crazy because we barely talked after we graduated from high school last May. To be very honest, I was low-key nervous to see them because what if time has changed our friendships? I would rather have our friendship freeze in the best moments. It was funny because I haven’t seen one of them for over two years! Yet, all of my concerns were bullshit because once we met, we realized nothing had changed. We bonded to each other like we used to be– the value of our friendship did not depreciate over time. Instead, when we reminiscence of all the past memories, it was as if we have traveled back in time.
Free Accommodation Plus the Best Local Tour Guides
During this trip, I didn’t have to pay anything for my accommodation in London and in New York. I simply crashed in my friends’ places. Seriously, that’s how real global citizens do, right? On top of that, my friends from London have become my best travel guides. I did not even bother to use Google Maps nor Yelp the entire time I was there.
Yes, we were full of tears when we said bye upon my departure. Being a 6-hour flight away, we all know that our crazy venture has to pause. However, it wasn’t as dramatic as depicted in old movies. As far as we are, as global citizens, traveling has become so easy and we know that our adventure will resume very soon.