My adventures took me from the street tacos of Tijuana to the fried fish of the Philippines. I went from climbing the peaks to meandering through crevices. I went from waves to waterfalls and from sand to sandstone.
The world was beautiful
After graduating from high school, I served an LDS mission to the Philippines. Serving a mission helped me realize that there was more to traveling than sight seeing. The cultural immersion led me to love the people by living like the people.
When I learned Tagalog, I discovered how to hold pure conversations with the natives and see what was in their hearts. There I saw it was the people that makes the world beautiful; everything else is just complementary.
I recently traveled with BYU on their Jerusalem Study Abroad Program and spent 3 months living in the Middle East. In addition to traveling to various regions in the Middle East, we were given the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the culture. Every day we went to the Old City and connected with local Palestinians and Israelis. These people became my friends and I wanted everyone to see that.
I noticed that many people in the world have insecurities about the Middle East, but what I saw was the happiness in the lives of those whom among I was living. My goal is to change the world’s perception of the Middle East by focusing on the positive stories that are available everywhere.
I want to show the world the happiness that truly circulates our lives
People are afraid of disaster. Their natural instinct is to avoid thinking about it coming close to home so they displace it far from them. Due to recent terror attacks involving Islamic extremist groups, it is easy to place the evil in our minds in the Middle East where many Muslims live. But there is just much honor there as any other place in the world.
Upon arriving home from Jerusalem, I began my studies as an International Relations with a minor in Communications. I anticipate studying more Middle Eastern culture, history, and current events. Learning Tagalog gave me a greater love for the Philippines; learning Arabic allows me to connect with the Middle East and see them how they really are.
With the knowledge and skills I gain from International Relations and Communications I want to work as a Foreign Correspondent in the Middle East where I can find stories to bring to light. I want to look for stories that will make natives proud of their culture and everyone else curious to know more.