Life Lessons From the Places You Go –Luke Muaser
One of the biggest learning lessons has been through the gift of travel and learning the world by seeing it! When I was 9 years old I was fortunate to travel with my parents oversees for educational and business purposes. I developed a passion for travel from the first trip we took. This interest was sparked by visiting such places as the Vatican City in Rome, seeing a witch doctor in Africa, visiting cathedrals in Peru, and mentoring Chinese children at a Buddhist Temple called the American Bodhi Center. My transcripts confirm my grade point average and my class rank solidifies how important studying and academics are to me; however, it’s life experiences, through travel, that have really shaped who I am today and who I am becoming in the future. In addition, I love learning about history and the travels have just furthered that interest.
The next travel destination and educational experience was to Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. I was 12 years old and on my second business trip with my parents, however this time without my little sister. It was my first time to fly a long distance and over an ocean. Maui was beautiful. We stayed where the NFL retired football players were having a conference. I challenged myself to get out of my comfort zone and ask for autographs as we came across the players at the resort. One of the autographs was from Santana Dotson, which ironically was a college friend of my mother’s. I definitely learned to move out of my comfort zone and it helped that I found another kid to buddy with me! I have always loved sports so it was quite a treat.
Bermuda was couple years later and was amazing. The island is only 20 area miles. Today it is still a British territory, which I found interesting for many reasons. The currency is British and the British influence affected manners and dress codes. It was required to dress up for dinner and if you wore shorts to dinner it was custom to wear dress shoes and knee socks. Bermuda’s limestone roofs withstand hurricanes and collect this rainwater with the curvature of the construction. The ocean water was even more beautiful than previous places we had been and the pink sand beaches were so beautiful as well. There is an organism that grows under the coral and when it dies its pink shell mixes in the white sand to give it its color.
NOW for the experience that changed my perspective just before going to high school. I was privileged to go on a mission and educational trip to Malawi and Zambia, Africa! The best part of the trip was the experiences with the culture, people and climate. We went to villages, orphanages and a university to feed food to the poorest communities in the world. While visiting one of the orphanages I was playing basketball. A couple young boys approached me asking if they could join. The boys wanted me to teach them some of the fundamentals since they never had a coach that knew a lot about the game. By the time we had finished every single one of the boys was grinning from ear to ear. In that moment I realized that I had value and could make a difference in the lives of people. In addition, I now have a different perspective on poverty in America. Only handfuls of people even have shoes and get a single meal a day in this part of the world! While there, we worked on a resource project to change that, using food distribution areas, agricultural schooling and water system installments. It was my first time to see poverty at this level. The interesting thing is that it was the happiest culture of singing, playing and dancing! The Malawians didn’t know any different and didn’t have income levels to have a comparison. A life changing trip in so many ways.
How many times in your life have you heard “Rome was not built in a day?” It was during a trip to Italy that I found out how true that really was. While in Italy last year on an educational tour, we stayed in Rome and traveled from there down to the coast and visited everything in between. Rome really is multiple cities built on each other. The ancient ruins in Rome, such as the Colosseum and the Forum show you the vast power of the Roman Empire. I learned in 10 days what might take a lifetime to learn in books and studies.
My last educational tour to date, was this past summer. I traveled with one of my history teachers, as well as other students, to Peru. I did not know what to expect as this was my first trip to South America. Of course, we learned the stories of Machu Picchu and that it is in the cloud forest, as well as how to survive with unique food habits like eating guinea pig. Learning how extensive the Inca people were in their building and civilization construction, was fascinating. I could go on and on about history lessons, relationships formed during some good and bad situations, as well as interesting airport and transportation experiences.
All and all, world travel is a valuable learning experience that can enhance the many years of classroom schooling. My goal of continuing education at Baylor University would allow me to meet individuals from all over the world and further cultivate that passion for travel and cultural diversity. Coming from a small town in Texas, going to Baylor University, will allow me to branch out and learn from others with different religious affiliations and beliefs. Life is a series of learning lessons. A key site for business training and to apply for valuable college scholarships can be found on