Everyone has those things, memories or people that they could talk about forever.

I’m 13 years old and I got the opportunity to do something most people don’t get to experience in their entire life so, yes, I can talk about it forever. But this journey has been hard to explain to people because finding the adjectives to describe it seems impossible.

I got to travel the world, or at least to Bali, Singapore and India.

Singapore was gorgeous; the city was unbelievably efficient and diverse. Bali also was beautiful. Both places were magnificent and truly indescribable.

But India was different. There was barely any glitz or glamour, but the country’s unique culture made up for all of that.

This may make me sound spoiled, but at home, I’m used to “nice” things and to be frank, I live a great life.

In India I saw poverty that I didn’t even know existed. I saw people with small children begging for food. I saw people without legs trying to make enough money to buy a bottle of water.

I saw a new culture and a different way of life. I saw children that don’t have the opportunity to succeed and this changed me.

I found out that I was taking things for granted, things I never knew other people didn’t have such as clean water, food and a place to lay your head down at night.

This showed me that material things don’t matter. I learned so much about different cultures, languages and types of people, but more importantly, I learned more about myself.

This trip showed me just how strong I am, it showed me that I’m independent and capable, and that I can do whatever I set my mind to.

I learned God can get you through anything and show you, in his own special way, just how great you really are.

He can show you your strengths and then guide you to use them, to make things better for other people.

This I believe: Life is about using your blessings to bless other people, and letting other people have the opportunities that you do.

Life is about loving and appreciating your family because they are the ones who will love you despite your flaws.

It’s about overcoming obstacles that you think will delay you on your path to success. It’s about facing the hard things in life with grace, hope and faith.

It’s about being open to uniqueness and accepting other people and their religions, beliefs, backgrounds, races and situations.

It’s about pursuing every opportunity you have with the best of your ability.

I found all this out just from traveling. I know that traveling can change you. Because it changed me.

Addison Propes is a 13-year-old student at Ashley Hall. She was born in Kentucky, but was raised in Charleston and lives on Daniel Island.