The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


What does traveling offer to kids/young adults?

February 9, 2024/Midnight 


In 1998, my dad was in the military and was docked in Cannes, France. As he left the ship with his shipmates, he saw a woman painting on a storefront window about a sale coming up. Little did he know that she would be his wife of soon to be 25 years.  

Back in the summer of 2015, at the ripe age of 12, my dad and I drove from Buffalo, Ny to Montreal, Canada. That night, I left Montreal on a plane to Nice, France by myself.  

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As a 12-year-old, with an iPhone 4s that was basically an iPod if anything, this was terrifying.  

I remember the nerves keeping me from sleeping on the plane, so naturally I read an abundance of Nicholas Sparks novels on my Kindle.  

After landing, I just followed a family (they definitely did not know I was following them) and had them “lead the way” so to speak.  

Once I finally got my luggage, it was a matter of finding my grandmother, which spoiler alert, I did not for 2 hours.  

When everything was finally settled down, I took a bus with my grandmother to Cannes (Le Cannet), there we walked to my great grandmother’s apartment. Soon after arriving and speaking to my parents, I fell asleep on the couch.  

Thinking back on my “solo” trip to France, I would not change a thing.  

When reflecting on my trip now, a decade after the trip, I think about how I took it for granted.  

Going to France at a young age allowed me to learn and observe the different culture that is half of my genetic makeup.  

Not only did I go to Cannes and Nice France, but I also went to Carrie le Route, Marseille and Monaco.  

My oncle Francis, at the time was Captenier of the marina, and now is Mayor of Carrie le Route. Having the chance to see him work on the marina and drive his boat is not common.  

While in Carrie le Route, my cousins from Marseille came to visit and I was able to go kayaking on the ocean, there we saw some baby jellyfish and tons of fish in the reef.  

Naturally, my cousin took us into a well-known shark cove, and we kayaked around there for a little while before my nerves got the best of me.  

That night I spent the night in Marseille, a truly historical place and one that I wish I took more pictures of.  

After this trip, my great grandma, grandma and I went to the Italy, France border and I got to see how the farmers markets are run there.  

They are much cooler in Europe, and I wish I had taken better advantage of the opportunity.  

During my 5-week trip to France, I was also able to go to Monaco, where I saw the iconic double decker bus, and even watched the changing of the guards outside the palace.  

When reflecting on my trip as an adult, I wish I could tell little 12-year-old Charlize not to be so afraid of everything.  

I would tell myself to go swim in the ocean more than I did, to try new foods, to put myself out there more.  

Now granted, I was a child, in a country that I had never been to, with many family members I scarcely saw or have never met.  

That said, I believe taking that chance and traveling abroad has shaped me into the person I am today.  

I believe everyone, when given the opportunity, should travel abroad or just travel in general. You never know how the outcome will be, but it will likely make you a better, stronger person.  



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About the Contributor
Charlize Harding
Charlize Harding, Editor-in-Chief
Hello! This year's Editor-in-Chief is Charlize Harding. She has been writing for about a year and a half; last year she served as the News Editor. In addition to the paper, she is a part of Gannon’s service sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma; the English International Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta, and co-editor for Gannon’s literary magazine, The Totem. Charlize also works on campus at the Writing and Research Center. During her down time, she loves to watch movies, go out with friends and just chill. Thank you for all of your support with The Gannon Knight!

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