Opinion | The good in seeing the new

There is importance in unfamiliarity as you gain new experiences to further grow into yourself.


Photo contributed by Naomi Rivera

Naomi Rivera Morales, Opinions Columnist

I have been both grateful and fortunate to be a part of a military family. My time and experience throughout the years have shaped me into the person I am today.

Before I started moving from place to place, I lived in Puerto Rico. Although it is home, I was unaware of life outside of it, and I was inexperienced with the larger world around me. When I was around 5 years old, my family and I went on our first order. We moved to Alaska.

In Alaska, I was introduced to blankets of powdered snow that melted against my skin. It was unlike the island, but nonetheless new and exciting. My parents and I lived in Alaska for five years before moving on to new places, including Maryland, Iowa, Egypt, and Austria.

I am more than grateful to have experienced living in not only this country but a few others. Living in Egypt and Austria showed me the importance of stepping out into the world and the importance of surrounding yourself with new experiences within various cultures and backgrounds.

During my time in Egypt, I was introduced to new music, foods, and ways of life. My mother and I would often go to the market, weaving ourselves through stands with gold and silver jewelry, hand-made textiles, leather products, spices, perfumes, and more. It was enriching.

In Austria, my family and I often enjoyed the museums. We learned of the history and the art that runs through the country, emphasizing its beauty.

Getting the chance to experience these things up until high school graduation made me feel closer to not only those around me but to the world around me.

Many individuals are unable to travel widely, but one does not have to do this to reach new experiences. New experiences can look different for everyone. An individual can travel within their state or even try something new within their current living area.

Research by the New York Post found that 11 percent of participants have never left their home state. Over 54 percent have gone to a maximum of 10 states across the country.

There are various reasons why an individual would never leave home. Some people are unable to, some have not given it much thought, and others have no interest in doing so.

During my childhood, I had no interest in moving and no interest in seeing the larger world around me. I was used to life on the island. I had found comfort in familiarity.

The importance of getting out of one’s comfort zone surrounds the idea of opportunity. When you step past familiarity, you gain some benefits. Some of these benefits include more confidence, creativity, self-growth, and one’s knowledge about themselves.

Though I am currently residing in Iowa City, I still find ways to gather new experiences, whether it’s through a newly opened business, a new trail to explore, or a new general area downtown to seek out.

Having been part of a military family made me realize that the world is here for us to see. Since my first move, I have grown toward new experiences and allowed unfamiliarity to take place.

Hesitance and worry toward new experiences can often take place, but every individual needs and deserves to see more. It is all for the better.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.