New place, new culture: Students navigate new worlds in travel

After two years of being locked away to stay safe from a virus, traveling is becoming more abundant as the world goes back to “normal.” People grow used to the same food, music and language when it’s all they’ve been around for a while. For some, stepping into a new country is like stepping onto another planet. These students were able to experience the beauty of other cultures and had culture shocks of their own.

Senior Preston Appelblatt made his way to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and described how he was unable to understand what was going on at times because he didn’t speak the [Portuguese] language.

“The city is very busy, and the way they drive is very different,”Appleblatt said. “If you have a motorcycle, you can just cut through in between lanes.”

Appleblatt described how although the city was busy, the people were very friendly and the food was better than the food he has in America.

Another place that was reported to have good food was the Bahamas. Senior Isabella Dupeiron went on a cruise throughout the islands.

“The food was good,” Duperion said. “It was very well seasoned. American food is like, bland.”

Dupeiron also mentioned that the people were gratifying, but suspected it may have only been because she was a tourist.

“They were really nice because [I was] a tourist,” Dupeiron said. “So they have to be really saucy.”

America itself is a spacious country. One can experience culture shocks just by going to a different state. That was the case for freshman Lexi Harley, who traveled up north to Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.

“There’s more nature,” Harley said. “It’s more fun. You can go swimming in the lakes and creeks because there’s no alligators.”

Harley also described a prettier environment with a dry heat, compared to Florida which has more humidity.

Senior Liam Friend enjoyed his cruise to Alaska, went into detail about how wonderful it was.

“The climate was incredible,” Friend said. “The music was great. The food was proper. There were actually very nice people, you know, they were very welcoming. They understand life.”

Friend wishes to travel to Alaska in the winter in the future.

Not everyone enjoyed their trips away from home. Sophomore Yasser Rodrigez wasn’t too fond of his month and a half long Pittsburgh trip, and especially didn’t like the people.

“They’re smelly, they’re weird, they’re gross,” Rodrigez said. “That’s the people though.” 

Rodrigez explained how he got a job at a trampoline park and was constantly in contact with the people of his area. He said people viewed him differently because he was darker than most of the people there, and he received plenty of unwelcoming stares.

“The weather was actually really nice,” Rodrigez said. “It wasn’t too sunny, it was windy, barely any rain.” 

Going away to other places can be an enlightening experience, bringing people to the realization that people everywhere have different customs and traditions. Even leaving the state can feel like a whole new world. Either way, entering a new city invites new possibilities and ideas, and can change the way someone sees their own life.