Meet world traveler senior Nicole Liew

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Photo courtesy of Nicole Liew

Ambika Vartak - Staff Writer

Riveted by each country’s unique culture, senior Nicole Liew uses her experiences from other countries to discover who she truly is.  As a world traveler, Liew has visited over 30 countries, all of which have inspired her to become a dedicated humanitarian.

Although each country provides a distinct, cultural experience, Liew was deeply affected by her trip to Cambodia.  After the Cambodian genocide of the 70s, the troubled country has struggled to return to a normal society.  Liew was saddened as she watched young street-children performing manual labor, trying to earn a living.  Despite these unfortunate circumstances, the Cambodian people remained optimistic, inspiring Liew to do the same in times of trouble.

“Seeing how the people there are able to stay positive and hope for improvement really inspired me,” said Liew.  “It made me realize how privileged I am and that I should not take [my education] for granted.”

Furthermore, traveling has made Liew more open-minded of other people’s religious beliefs and survival rituals.  Rather than judging another country’s customs, she tries to experience all the different attributes each culture has to offer.  This has also helped her to step outside her comfort zone and indulge in activities that may seem unusual.

“My peers often criticize something a country eats or does, but traveling has given me the understanding that each unique custom is part of a country’s culture,” said Liew.  “Traveling has taught me to always try something new even if it seems strange.”

Throughout her adventures, she has viewed the importance of families in several different cultures.  In other countries, families are a prevalent factor in a person’s life.  Spending time and establishing personal connection with family, instead of being self-consumed with electronics, was something that Liew took note of in other countries.  Witnessing the unconditional love, trust and respect families shared throughout the world has made Liew establish a tighter bond with her family.

She finds that exploring different regions of the world is the best escape from her stressful day-to-day routine.  As she explores different countries, Liew is hoping to develop a better understanding of herself and the world around her.