I am an adventurer. I’ve transgressed every boundary man invented: political, religious, linguistic, and more, to find there is only one story: the human story.
I started my travels at the age of 13 when I gave up the chance at private school education for an education no textbook could adequately provide.
I’ve been a secret beauty, humbly draped, as I walked through a mosque in Malaysia; in Paris, I regally strolled through the Palace of Versailles; I’ve suffered the cruel remains of Apartheid in a South African township; in Japan, I was cleansed in the spiritual water of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples; and I spent my childhood being lulled to sleep by traditional Haitian lullabies and stories.
These different cultures don’t feel foreign to me. They are all the same expression of joy and pain, but presented in different ways. Being raised in the Haitian Vodou philosophy, I was often mocked and shamed by people with preconceived notions about my culture, which is often vilified in pop-culture. However, through travel, I learned Vodou is just a title. It is practiced under many other names. In Malaysia, a Buddhist man asked me what my religion was. He was shocked to find that for both he and I, honor, respect, and reverence were the cornerstones of our cultural upbringing. I discovered the same core beliefs apply to us all, regardless of the god we subscribe to, making everyone more relatable.
There is a lot of ignorance in my home town. Too many minds are closed by fear. They believe strange is dangerous; dangerous is wrong. The tales of my escapades aren’t appreciated here. An anecdote to my AP world history class regarding my positive experiences in the Islamic culture –that I found something beautiful in how the modesty of dress influenced me to find strength as a woman without my appearance –resulted in my being called un-American. I’ve since mastered the art of presenting my views without inciting hatred. It’s a sick talent, one I wish wasn’t necessary. Ignorance is, in my opinion, mankind’s worst ailment. Global awareness is freedom from such ignorance, the liberty to see past the superficial and discover more. I believe it is the key to true learning.
My perspective is unique. No religion was pushed upon me; that gave me the freedom to view the world without prejudice. In this way, I have been able to take the best out of every culture and establish my own values. I see the distinctions in the humanities I encounter as lost pages. When all the pages are put together, they create the human story. My mission is to read the whole book.
As an adventurer, I am a citizen of the world, unbound by political, religious, and linguistic dividers, free to learn as much as I can, wherever I can. I look forward to continuing my ventures at the University, where global awareness is prized to a degree akin to my own.