Claire Marvin learns life lessons through extensive travel and new experiences



Claire Marvin snowboarding on one of her many adventures in the united states

Sophomore Claire Marvin’s life has been one adventure after the next. From road trips across America to a variety of different countries, Claire has found a home on the road. 

Her admiration for travel extends beyond the typical vacation or spring break getaway. Instead, she much prefers exploring different countries, learning about different cultures, or simply traveling to other states; she also enjoys hiking, swimming, and ultimately broadening her prospects about the world. 

The idea of collecting experiences instead of tangible objects is one that has been instilled in Claire from a young age. 

“[My family] has never spent our money on things [other] than experiences,” Claire said. “If given the option, we would much rather go to new places. Over the years, I have seen my parents hold travel to a higher value than objects, and I think it’s taught me a good life lesson in addition to allowing me to see all different kinds of places.”

Claire explains that when you have seen different aspects of the world, whether that be in or out of the country, the vast collection of memories you obtain through such experiences makes any discrepancies on the trip worth it. 

She says that although the pros of travel heavily outweigh the cons, the concept of little arguments with her brother on the road or hikes that have gone wrong is not foreign to her. 

“One of [my family] hikes that we have been on turned out to be a complete disaster,” Claire said. “It started raining, and my mom and my brother wanted to turn around to go home, but my dad and I didn’t. So, we kept going, but the hike ended up being a lot longer than we thought, and then it started thundering and hailing as well. So, by the end, we were all so done and exhausted.”

When I go to other places and see things like different living conditions and agriculture, it’s a culture shock. I’m curious to see that more. It’s fun to see how other people live.

However, not even a hike in the pouring rain can diminish Claire’s passion. She explains that her love goes beyond traveling because she wants her real life and her future to consist of a world where she doesn’t have to stay in one spot. 

Growing up in Forest Hills, Claire explains, can feel a little bit like being trapped. Although she loves her home, she believes that the world outside of the Forest Hills bubble may be better suited for her. 

“I feel like I’m constantly told that Forest Hills is a bubble,” Claire said. “Oftentimes, it’s said in a positive way because it’s a great place to live, but when people say it to me, it makes me feel like they’re telling me I don’t know what the real world is like, and that can be hard.”

Claire expresses that because of how shielded off from the rest of the world FHC can sometimes feel, she has to do her best to find new opportunities for herself so the bubble can feel less claustrophobic. 

“When I go to other places, it is so much different from here,” Claire said. “It’s very nice here, however at times, it can feel sheltered. So, when I go to other places and see things like different living conditions and agriculture, it’s a culture shock. I’m curious to see that more. It’s fun to see how other people live.”

It’s clear to Claire that whether she’s in the Forest Hills bubble or on a road trip across America, experiences will always be more valuable than material objects. Learning new facts about places aside from her own is something she isn’t able to attach a price tag to, and she continues to seek adventure always. 

“It’s not so much [of the] travels and vacations that entice me,” Claire said. “It’s learning about different cultures and being immersed in as many things that I can be. I want to diversify what I know.”