My family back in Venezuela has this tradition of traveling to at least one place we don’t know every winter for a vacation. Many times we return to places that we know and like, but we always reach a new destination. With me studying in the U.S., this year was the first time we wouldn’t spend Christmas and New Years together.
So I decided to embark on a trip and continue this tradition. What I found in Big Sur — about eight hours north of San Diego — was much more than what I was looking for.
After being surrounded by all this nature, I felt an emptiness watching news about how California was being ravaged by wildfires, drought and even floods and mudslides at the same time. Mother nature is telling us something more with this.
As a foreigner, I was shocked by the diversity of nature and its beauty, from beautiful coastline beaches to even huge mountains full of snow. Something Californians might take for granted is this beauty, and don’t realize how it’s deteriorating in front of their eyes. Ultimately, I invite readers to reflect and internalize about this deep issue that affects us all — let’s preserve and collaborate with our Mother Nature.
Mario Salge Mata is an economics junior at San Diego State. He is an international student from Venezuela.