Max Mignatti, Tabor Academy
January 31, 2020

For most of my life, I have lived and breathed the Mediterranean sea, its blue magnificence being the source of my greatest comforts and memories. This sea is where I first learned how to swim. I first dared myself to be brave by jumping off of towering cliffs into the waters below. Hiding under the blankets of waves, I first witnessed the freedom of its wildlife. I made friends dancing in the sea, our sun-kissed bodies reflecting abstract figures on a distorted navy mirror. I witnessed the memories of childhood along with the edge of adulthood across my bright blue sea.

Today, I gaze upon my once magnificent blue sea to find that the rocky alcove of Cala Deia is engulfed by toxic green waves and I see children make sandcastles out of plastic remnants they find on the beaches of Port de Soller. I am enraged as I watch my memories drown in the grey, murky waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 

I know who has polluted my home with their abandoned beach umbrellas, deflated beach balls, and discarded ice-lolly wrappers. I know who has changed the color of the bright blue water, chased away the fauna, and made the beaches their own personal dumpsite. Some tourists could care less about the foreign land they are paying to explore. It is as though they are saying “If it is not my home, why should I care?” Now, the season I would once greet with open arms is one I wish would never come because with Summer’s arrival comes a stampede of the foreign polluters. 

I too have been a visitor to numerous countries. However, I have come to find that there are two routes I can take as a visitor; one can respect the unfamiliar land or treat it with carelessness. I always choose to uphold the first route. Although I may be a visitor in a foreign land, I refuse to treat it like a personal dumpsite. I understand that the lands I venture to are truly not that distant from me, and all the shores connected by a single body of water. 

Next time you travel far from your native land, consider the foreign soil as your home - because it is. Earth is a shared home, and we ought to make an effort towards protecting this planet, for by protecting our planet, we are taking care of both ourselves and our neighbors.

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