What is an experience and how does it shape us?
The word experience has many meanings, it can refer to past events, present events, knowledge, and feelings that can then go on to define your personality. They are something that has happened to you but more importantly affected you in some way. It is defined as the justification of a persons knowledge, or the conscious events that make up someones life. But how exactly do they make up our lives? To me, experiences while travelling are a big part of what has shaped me into the person I am today, living a life that I think is less ordinary.
In 2009 I went on a school trip to Vanuatu. This was the first time I was exposed to poverty and those a lot less fortunate than me, but was super eye-opening. It was a chance for me to see the developing world, and introduced me to a new point of view on things. This experience was one that stuck with me until now, and I know sounds cliche, but has definitely made me appreciate things more. We went and visited one of their schools, and seeing the way they didn’t stop smiling when we gave them small gifts, made me see how lucky we are, and how easy it is to take for granted what we have. We travelled often after his as my dad’s job needed him to be at different conferences around the world. I would say learning things about the world through these experiences was always a lot more valuable for me then learning in a classroom. When I was in my last year of primary school, I joined the New Zealand Cheerleading team and trained for over 15 hours a week. I did this until late last year, and was the period of my life where I got the opportunity to experience many things- both good and bad. It was a lot of pressure for 9 year old me, and although I may not have realised it back then, the many hours of being yelled at, and pushed to the point of physical agony definitely had an impact on me. In saying this, I had some of the best experiences also.
This year for me, moving away from home has made me realise how valuable experience is. I am beginning to learn to be my experiencing self, the one in the present, and at this age, it is so easy for us to be thinking about the future when everyone is constantly asking us about it. I’ll do things that make me happy, despite the practicalities of them.
To continue living this life, I am going to try and be more open minded, giving everything a go, and
Me as 2014 self
How I feel about looking back on it now
What I learnt
How I choose to live my life
First of all, I would say that it’s changed the way I see opportunities. I think it’s made me be able to appreciate the good moments more, especially tough times. I’m not saying this experience caused something terrible to happen in my life and I don’t want this to be cliche, but it did make me think about certain things differently. From this experience, although I tried hard to put it behind me, I found it made a huge impact on me as a person. I began to be anxious about small things like being with people and talking to people, in which I never had a problem with before.
This was until I realised how important experiences are.
How attitude is important, experiences make us who we are, important to be openminded, how we/i handle setbacks and challenges
I know it sounds cliche to say that experiences make us who we are, but I honestly believe it’s true.