Hayden Vonbargen is a young, athletic individual currently living in Chehalis, Washington. He is deeply passionate about sports, especially track and cross country, which he participated in as a student at Adna High School. Running continues to be a big part of Hayden’s life, from recreational running in his free time to participating in local races. He loves getting to be involved in the local competitive running community and continues to improve his skills as time goes on.

Hayden Vonbargen Headshot

Beyond his own personal interest in running, Hayden Vonbargen also loves keeping up with Washington State’s professional teams, such as the Seattle Seahawks. He follows their games every year and is especially inspired by Tyler Lockett, one of the team’s wide receivers. Additionally, he loves to travel and listen to rap music. Other activities Hayden enjoys include going snowboarding and hiking when he isn’t busy preparing for his next race.

While sports are easily one of the biggest priorities in Hayden Vonbargen’s life, he is also a dedicated worker and volunteer. He has been working with UPS as a driver helper and, more recently, a truck loader, for over a year now. In this role, he ensures packages get loaded onto trucks properly, keeping up with the fast-paced environment while delivering high-quality results. Hayden is a reliable employee with a strong work ethic.

Hayden Vonbargen places a strong emphasis on community involvement and giving back. He holds kindness as a core value and actively employs his skills and talents to assist those in need. This commitment extends to his elderly family member, for whom Hayden readily lends a hand with yard work and various tasks. Additionally, Hayden serves as a devoted volunteer with the Washington Trail Association. In this role, he has acquired valuable skills in operating machinery for the transportation of trail maintenance supplies, contributed to the construction of a footbridge, and played a pivotal role in organizing events and excursions. By engaging in these endeavors, Hayden successfully merges his passion for the great outdoors with his unwavering dedication to making a positive impact within his community.
Hayden Vonbargen also regularly volunteers with the Washington Trail Association, where he helps to maintain local hiking trails and ensure local residents can enjoy the beautiful natural areas Washington has to offer. Hayden’s role as a volunteer has included projects like building a footbridge and moving materials. Additionally, Hayden has helped his community in other ways, from pet sitting to helping an elderly family member with manual labor tasks. Whatever he works on, Hayden strives to be kind and work hard.

Hayden Vonbargen on Why Travel is The Best Way to Learn About New Cultures

In an increasingly interconnected and diverse world, the value of cultural understanding and empathy cannot be overstated. While books and documentaries provide valuable insights into different cultures, there is no better way to truly immerse oneself and gain a deep appreciation for the richness of diverse societies than through travel. Here, Hayden Vonbargen explores why travel is widely regarded as the best way to learn about new cultures.

1. Firsthand Experience:

Travel offers the unique opportunity to engage with cultures firsthand. Through direct interactions with local communities, traditions, and daily life, travelers can witness cultural practices, rituals, and customs up close. Whether savoring local cuisine, participating in traditional celebrations, or conversing with locals, these experiences create lasting impressions and a genuine connection to the culture.

2. Cultural Immersion:

Unlike passive forms of learning, travel enables cultural immersion. Stepping out of your comfort zone and into a different environment challenges preconceived notions and encourages open-mindedness. Immersion allows you to engage with people with different perspectives, beliefs, and values, fostering a deeper understanding of their way of life.

3. Empathy and Perspective:

Travel has been shown to promote empathy and broaden perspectives. Experiencing the daily realities and challenges faced by people from different cultures can evoke a sense of compassion and understanding. By walking in the shoes of others, travelers gain insights into the complexities of life outside their own cultural context.

4. Breaking Stereotypes:

Stereotypes often arise from ignorance or misinformation. Traveling dispels these stereotypes by offering real-life encounters that challenge assumptions. Meeting individuals from diverse backgrounds shatters preconceived notions and replaces them with authentic human connections.

5. Cultural Awareness:

Travel fosters cultural awareness by highlighting the intricate web of beliefs, values, and traditions that shape societies. Being immersed in a different culture prompts questions, encourages active learning, and prompts a desire to understand the “whys” behind various practices.

6. Learning Through Observation:

Observing people’s everyday lives in different cultures provides insights into the nuances of their routines, interactions, and societal norms. From how people greet each other to how they conduct business, these observations offer a rich educational experience.

7. Language and Communication:

Traveling often necessitates interaction in languages other than your own. Learning basic phrases and attempting to communicate in the local language demonstrates respect and willingness to engage with the culture. Language barriers can also lead to moments of shared laughter and understanding.

8. Cultural Sensitivity:

Navigating new cultures requires cultural sensitivity and adaptability. Being attuned to cultural norms, taboos, and gestures ensures respectful and well-received interactions. This awareness is a valuable skill in today’s globalized world.

9. Appreciation for Diversity:

Travel exposes you to a tapestry of human diversity. It highlights the beauty of differences while celebrating our shared humanity. This appreciation for diversity fosters a more inclusive and harmonious worldview.

10. Memorable Education:

Travel memories are etched in our minds. The stories, encounters, and experiences become a part of our personal narrative, enriching our understanding of the world and influencing our future interactions.

Travel transcends textbooks and classroom lectures by offering an immersive and transformative education in cultural understanding. The firsthand experiences, empathetic connections, and broadened perspectives gained through travel are unparalleled. As you embark on your next journey, remember that every step is an opportunity to learn, grow, and foster a deeper appreciation for the diverse cultures that enrich our world.

Hayden Vonbargen