Travel Log 13: “Connecting Rites of Passage and Digital Storytelling” by Doug Beebe; London, UK

The end of my journey in London is quickly coming to an end and all of the experiences that I have had this far will forever stay with me. The end of my journey also represents the end of my rite of passage process and my transformation into a more culturally aware human within my community in London. Now that I have almost completed my rite of passage journey and looking back on the different rite of passage experiences I have had in the United States it is easy to notice that most of the community rituals and life transitions into adulthood are nearly non existent and extremely blurred. The article for this week stated that “The lack of clearly established rites of passage in America is partly due to the ambiguity about when and how one becomes an adult in contemporary society,” and I can completely relate to this when I look back on my personal experiences from growing up. When I grew up I didn’t know that rite of passage was a thing and that there was a specific time that you became an adult, I just thought that life was a time in which you slowly matured and eventually you became an adult after you reached a certain age. In the article it also mentions that the ‘life achievements’ that we gain as we grow older are only related to age and not based on maturity or being competent enough to make those life transitions as well as the youth of the US looking to the community and social media around them as a guide for when they should become an adult rather than basing it off of their own personal maturity. The basing of personal growth off of peers around you as well as the social media we have access to been extremely destructive to when youth feel they have reached adulthood.

A digital story is something that I never realized was something that would be really influential to the process of rite of passage. It helps to add an additional dimension of reflection to our entire trip abroad and how we were able to incorporate ourselves into the culture around us. This wrap up of our entire journey is going to be something that I personally will look back on for a long time to remember my entire experience in London as well as something that I will show to all of my family and friends back home so they can experience the ways in which I have changed as a person through my time abroad. One of the most exciting things about this project too is that I will be able to get really creative with my digital story and make something that is so much different an what we have been creating all semester as well as making something that people who don’t take this class would ever really think of making.

The digital story that I enjoyed the most was Christine’s from Florence. I didn’t so much enjoy the way that the pictures came into frame, but the message that she had behind her whole time abroad I really connected with. It seemed that she tried to use a bridge as the main point of her whole story and she often connected her entire experience of being abroad to how you would normally cross a bridge. I thought that the way she used a very simple concept of just crossing a bridge and then relating that to challenges and victories that she experienced while she was abroad was really logical and kind of inspired me to the topic I might use for my digital story.

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