Travel Log 10: “Encountering Globalization” by Ben Raymond. Queenstown, New Zealand

Contrary to my usual posts, I have spent the past ten days backpacking throughout the Southern island of New Zealand – what an amazing experience it has been. Although this experience provides a dramatic change of pace and scenery compared to the bustling city of Brisbane, it nonetheless, has given me new perspective of what it means to be globally aware.

I now believe that global awareness is a skill that can be learned through experience. When arriving in Australia, I am the first person to admit that I lacked the knowledge and experience of how to seamlessly immerse with a foreign culture; the transition was not smooth at all, taking me weeks to fully accept and understand the cultural differences. On the other hand, coming into New Zealand, I knew exactly what mindset to maintain in order to make the arrival process much smoother. Once someone has a basic understanding of how to be globally aware, they can apply this skill to any new situation they find themselves in. This skill I have learned, I plan to bring with me wherever my travels may take me.

In hindsight, there are many ways in which I have interacted and contributed with the flows of globalization within both Australia and New Zealand. The most prominent example that comes to mind is through my job in the city. While making outbound sales calls to potential customers (who could be interested in purchasing anything from books, to cars, to aircraft tracking GPS systems), it is important to understand that I am personally making an impact on the flow of globalization within Australia. While becoming involved in the globalization process, I found it very interesting to know that very little of the brands that I am dealing with originate from Australia. Australia is known for importing foreign goods such as cars from Europe of the States, rather than building them themselves. This is due to the fact that Australia understands that it can’t compete with the automotive industry on a global scale due to a lack of necessary resources. Instead, this country optimizes and capitalizes on resources which are in abundance such as coal – which is currently its most lucrative export. Although Australia may not be a contender in every global industry, it knows which fields to focus on in order to be efficient with the limited resources it has to work with. This is a quite admirable tactic which other countries should look to emulate.

Robins describes globalization as the promotion of “a new basis for thinking about the relation between cultural convergence and difference” (245). I agree with this statement, as it should become a commonality between all nations to adopt this “new basis for thinking.” As the line which defines each specific culture becomes more blurred within the modern global community, it is important to accept and understand differences, as no single culture contains people of a homogeneous background. Moreover, due to each country becoming a melting pot for other cultures, it is important to understand human rights on an individual and global scale. No matter which background someone comes from, they deserve that same basic rights that each member of the global community is entitled to.

The picture I have chosen to incorporate depicts a world in which nothing is stagnant. Each country has its own resources that contribute to the entire global economy. No matter how big or small the contribution is, we are all intertwined in some shape or form. The global community thrives on cultural coexistence in order to maintain efficiency. There are very few cultures in the modern world which are solely dependent on their own resources simply due to the fact that we realize we can’t be good at everything. The relationships and trust that countries create with one another is exactly what strengthens the advancement of globalization and individual human rights.

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