Musings of a Beaverton Teen: The amazing world we live in

By Lani Garcia (11th Grader)

Many people travel so they can see new places, meet new people, and experience new cultures. Going to different countries makes us more open-minded too and allows us to gain new perspectives on life that we didn’t have before.

I am so thankful to have recently had the opportunity to travel to Iceland and France. It was my first time leaving North America!


I knew Iceland was known for its pristine natural beauty and for me, being environmentally conscious, I was excited to go here first!

My favorite part was seeing Icelandic horses on the side of the road as we were driving. We saw a bunch of different groups, and stopped twice to pet them. Icelandic horses were first brought to Iceland on Viking ships, and since 982 AD, the importation of horses has been banned by Iceland. This means that every horse you see in this country is pure Icelandic.

Something else that stood out to me about Iceland is that in some places, hot tap water really does smell like rotten eggs. I didn’t notice it that much until I took a shower there! This occurs because a lot of the hot water there comes from hot springs. I really loved Iceland, and although it’s very windy, it’s very beautiful!

I really enjoyed France too!

Almost every building in Paris is so ornate! Whenever I go on vacation, one of my favorite parts is always the rides with Uber drivers. This was also the case in France. It was hilarious watching my mom try to speak French with them, and at one point she accidentally said “Je t’aime”, which means I love you, when she was trying to say she loved something she had just bought.

The Eiffel Tower was even more amazing than I thought it would be. For the first five minutes of every hour at night, lights would flash on it and it looked like it was sparkling!

Paris and Iceland were both beautiful in different ways.

No matter where we go, we will always learn and experience something new. Our lives are short, and we are so lucky to live on this amazing planet. I think we should all take the opportunity to explore as much of it as possible!

Lani is a junior at Beaverton High School. As a ZooTeen, she volunteers at the Oregon Zoo during the summer. She plays piano & guitar, and enjoyed doing dragon boats this past year.