Time sure does fly by! I have been away all summer in Los Angeles interning. I was in California for ten weeks and I am finally back home in New Jersey. Now I only have two weeks to prepare for my new travels in Italy. I know what you must be thinking; a travel bug must have bitten me! I remember thinking about how much time I had to wait before traveling abroad, and now it is finally approaching. I cannot wait to walk the cobble stone streets and to meet the locals. I keep thinking about what my apartment will look like and who my Italian neighbors be. Most importantly I am stressing about only having one suitcase for four months.
This course is all about ones Rites of Passage, back in the spring when we had the two workshops we spent a great deal of time to go over what that exactly means. ROP focuses on preparing us for leaving our home community and adapting and evolving when in the host country. There are three stages Old Status, which is the way you are before you travel abroad. The second stage is the Liminal Status, which is a threshold through transforming. The last stage is the New Status, is when you come back cultured and worldly. Through these three stages a person evolves through the new experience they gain while studying abroad.
In reading the beginning of Slimbach’s book, Becoming World Wise, it got me thinking about how foreign places are going to be very different from home but then when looking closer has similarities as well. For example, when I was shopping in Paris on the famous street the Champs-Elysees all of the stores there where the same stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Because of a lot of companies being international it ties a similarity when traveling. A quote that really stood out to me says that, “In a world that is smaller yet more complex than ever before, our educational challenge is to understand and to value both our differences and our commonalities, our separateness and our togetherness”(Slimbach 6). What this means to me is not to compare and contrast what is better home in the Untied States or Italy, but it is to see the differences and value what each of them have to offer. I want to be able to recognize the things that remind me of home but then realize what makes Italy special as well. They both offer distinctive cultures and ways of living, and I feel fortunate that I have this wonderful opportunity where I can experience both.
Another quotes that I liked was, “What’s important is that we should discover things that are new to us and feel the same wonder and elation as if they were new to everyone else”(Slimbach 4). I feel that Slimbach is trying to say that when you see famous landmarks feel excited like you should for the first time, even though it may not be special to others around you, if you are bliss feel that way. This is all part of your discovery. I also feel that you should feel this way with any new experience it doesn’t have to just be something famous, it could be with anything.
The book I am going to read when on my journey is Under the Tuscan sun by Frances Mayes, it is about how Frances travels to Italy and buys an abandon villa in the country side she studies the people and the food. It takes place in Tuscany in the olive Groves, which is certainly a place I want to visit. I am looking forward to reading the novel, it came highly recommended.