2016 Essay Competition - View all entries

Sapphire Skies

Alan Platt - Athens, TX, United States

Often times, when you ask someone where they would like to travel, their response is usually France, Italy, or some other first world country. But, those places have become such tourist sites that they aren't as rare and exciting as they may have been before they were popular. For these reasons, if I had a ticket to go anywhere in the world, I'd jump on the first flight to Africa. Not because the Lion King is my favorite Disney movie; the country is rich in culture and beauty.

African culture is so genuine because it's one of the few places on earth that still inhabits indigenous tribes, but it's not like Hawaii where its beaches and islands are exploited and they fake most of their “traditions” just to attract tourists. The idea of living solely on what land itself has to offer is amazing. These villagers aren't worried about money or owning the latest iPhone. Their only focus is to enjoy the raw land beneath their feet and make their lives historical timelines to pass on to the earth.

Can you imagine waking up to a dancing sun crossing a sapphire sky full of every hot color imaginable? I can, and it's beautiful. It's beautiful to know that a building or a giant advertisement billboard won't be blocking that view. Just picture yourself sharing the land with millions of wild animals the way it was meant to be. Instead, we tend to shamelessly capture and display them for others to admire. Imagine rolling in all the riches all around without wondering how much they're worth. Africa is full of virgin grounds that have been left alone by the malice hands of the greedy.

A place that's original and pure, that's where I'd like to go. Somewhere you could be one with nature and let your spirituality be free. The world is cruel and wicked, but there's still good in it. I believe that place is in the rural grounds of Africa. A place unvisited by famine, disease, or the internet. Things that are almost impossible to escape in today's society, but give me a ticket, I'll go somewhere that hasn't been polluted by greedy humans yet. I'll go to Africa.