I am a west coaster. I was born in Hawaii and grew up in Los Angeles. I’ve been on road trips all over the west coast. Now, I’m going to school in another state in western America and I’m getting a pretty good feel for it. Basically, it’s really cold in the winter, really hot in the summer, and the transitions between the two are just confusing. All I know is the western half of the United States.

Recently, I’ve been hit with a travel bug. I find myself wanting to live on the east coast and in a foreign country, preferably a European country. I think after my undergrad studies, I want to do some work or do graduate studies on the East coast, and then move to Europe. It might not be bad to go to Europe first for graduate studies and move back to the United States to work either.

All of these thoughts bring me back to when someone told me that we are not a citizen of the world until we have lived in more than one country. I think we, as Americans, don’t really consider leaving the United States for extended periods of time, and despite America’s diversity, I don’t think we are much of an international country.

This just may be a naive misconception on my part, but I feel that European countries see much more diversity. From what I understand, Europeans learn a couple of languages (not just the language of their country and English) in school whereas in America, most high school require just a couple of years of instruction in one other language that I’m sure nearly everyone forgets how to speak.

So, that’s my plan: to become a citizen of the world. As of now, I can’t even imagine living outside of the US – I don’t know how I’d deal with the culture shock – but I’m also a fish in a pond or a frog in a well with no understanding of the bigger world.

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