As I sit down to write this travel log I begin to look back at all of the experiences that I have had this summer and over the past few years. All of us have gone through such huge life changes, from packing up and going to college and starting a new life away from home and now packing up and moving to another country for a couple of months. Last weekend I was able to go up and visit all of my friends before I left to go to London and being there was such an odd experience, I felt as though I was an outsider and didn’t belong, that I was supposed to be in London, instead of there (at Quinnipiac). I am now frantically trying to get all of my things ready to leave for London because I of course left it for the last minute! I am so excited to get to London now, though, and listen to all the British accents, hear the hustle and bustle of an amazing city and to ALWAYS remember to look left while crossing the street.
The main point of this course, at least as it pertains to me, is to truly understand what the Rite of Passage is by experiencing and learning about it simultaneously. One of the most exciting parts of this whole experience is being able to immerse myself in the culture of a country that I have never been to before. Being able to delve into their culture and experience it, rather than seeing it as a superficial vacation spot. Rite of Passage, on a simple level, is certain ceremonies that help to transform us as people into individuals inside this new culture. Although, before we are able to go through the Rite of passage, we need to create separation between our past life, the one at home, and our new life, my future few months in London. Spending those few days at Quinnipiac, like I mentioned before, really helped me to create that separation from all of my friends who are extremely important to me by giving us all a sense of closure that that was the last time they would see me for a few months.
Slimbach mentioned in his introduction that, “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 felt that this quote did a great job of helping to explain the Rite of Passage because we are going through all of these different ceremonies to create a life change, and we should embrace these ceremonies and enjoy them as though everyone else is experiencing them for the first time as well. When I hear this quote, I see myself sitting in London looking at the architecture of a building or observing people doing something that I’ve never seen done before and being truly amazed as if no one has ever seen this before and I was the one to first observe it. It is really important for us to embrace these moments as part of our “transformation” and to not be afraid to be amazed.
I really struggled trying to find a book that would work for this class and surprisingly there weren’t many books that were written about people moving to London that related to me in any way. I chose to read Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes because it seems to be an interesting book that focuses primarily on the protagonist traveling to west London and really exploring the 60’s artsy culture that lies within that area. I felt that the title to this book worked perfectly for this occasion because we are all absolute beginners in our prospective cities.