Luke Bolvad: The Well-Rounded 14 Year-Old

Nick Fernandez

Spending four years in Shanghai China and a year in Bangkok Thailand, Luke Bolvad is a young man that has come into first-hand contact with many different cultures. He has lived and experienced many different ways of life in several countries.

“It was awesome to experience many different cultures,” Bolvad stated. “I got to see new things, which was very different from what I knew. It was a good five years of travel.”

Bolvad has been fortunate enough to be able to travel and see a range of cultures. These unique sets of experiences have shaped the way that he sees the world around him.

He commented that while attending school in Shanghai, he became fluent in Mandarin. Going to school in China and Thailand let him expand his horizons, while also allowing him to see and be apart of a different way of life.

“They [referring to locals of Shanghai] used to build bonfires on the sidewalk, which seemed pretty crazy at the time,”Bolvad said.

When Bolvad was in the middle of the new places he experienced some intense culture shock.

Regardless, he quickly became well adjusted to Shanghai and Bangkok once he learned Mandarin and discovered the richness that these places offered.

He said that he fell in love with the food of his new homes.  Bolvad was able to get all kinds of cool foods from all around the world.

“Bangkok had amazing thai food,” he says. “But they also had phenomenal German, Greek, Spanish, and many other good food. Shanghai also had crazy good Chinese food, and offered assorted foods from all around the world.”

Traveling to new places and immersing himself in brand new environments was a scary thing for Bolvad to do. He had to give up the comfort of what he knew in America and take a chance on living on the other side of the world.

“The advantages of the trips quickly outweighed my fear of being in a new place,” Bolvad said. “Those countries opened my horizons and shaped how I look at the world.”

Moving back to Lake Oswego, Oregon because of his mom’s job was strange for him. He had to get reoriented back into the life he used to know.

Luke Bolvad has had some amazing experiences with different cultures that changed him. The places he lived in enriched him as a person and changed him forever. Bolvad now carries those experiences around with him and they shape what he does in his life now.