Traveling abroad is a hobby for most, but a fundamental part of personal growth for all of humanity today. As an active participant of a local student exchange program, Sister Cities, and admirer of culture and travel, I had the privilege to make a trip of a lifetime to San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy and experience all that the country had to offer. Through this exchange group I got to know and become great friends with so many people. I was connected to those I knew and did not know, in my community of Corning, New York, as well as those all over Italy. I was immediately immersed in the culture and history of this historic gem of a country. By staying with a host family, was allowed to see first-hand how those in other countries lived their everyday lives. After a spectacular trip filled with endless memories, I realized the significance of international travel and the effect it can have on people. By traveling, people can experience for themselves what the culture of a country can mean and how it affects the lives of its citizens. It allows for the development of respect for others as well as a vector for personal growth to find who you are and what you hope to achieve with your life. International travel can put everything into perspective, as it has continually for me, and can mean so much more than souvenirs or foods ever could. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I was given to travel to Italy and have grown as a person as a result. I believe that every person, from which ever country of origin, needs to travel internationally at least once in order to become the best and most empathetic person they can be.