Travel Log 1: “Laying a Foundation” By Jim Webb. Madison, New Hampshire

Travel Log 1: 

Rites of Passage: Laying a Foundation Pre-departure

As my departure to Italy looms ever closer I have thought back to the QU 301 workshop that made an effort to prepare us for what was ahead.  Going into the workshop I felt a little nervous and overall unprepared for my trip.  I don’t speak very much Italian and I was never too quick at picking up languages.  However, the first and second workshop helped ease my anxiousness for the trip.  I was surrounded by people that were experiencing the same things as me which helped me feel better.  During the workshops we talked about a lot of interesting and a few topics really resonated with me.  The three stages a person goes through were a very interesting thing to think about; the old status, the liminal status, and the new status.  Essentially the death of a person is when they are thrust into a new culture and feel very alienated.  They are in a new place might not speak the language, like me, and often have beliefs that are very different from the people around you.  Then you enter into the next stage which was the in between of two cultures.  You are beginning to adopt some of the tendencies of the culture you have been living in but you still hold onto many of the ideologies, good or bad, that you had before you came there.  The final stage is almost a rebirth where you have adopted the best of both cultures and are reborn as a new, better, person.  This also made me feel better about going abroad because it felt like the three stages were written for me.  As we were going over the first stage it was almost like a check list for exactly how I was feeling and I am hoping I go through the other stages just like that.

Also in my preparations for traveling to Italy I have begun reading Slimbach’s Becoming World Wise.  In his introduction he touches upon many points that we went over in the workshops.  One quote that really resonated with me was when Slimbach states, “The new combines with and coexists alongside the old.”(Slimbach 167-168).  In this he was talking about the molding of different cultures; combining the best of both ideologies into a new and better personal identity.  This really related to something I already wrote about which was the last stage of traveling abroad when you create your new status.  In this stage a person begins to adopt some pieces of the different culture in order to modify and change their own identity to reflect their new ideologies.  Another quote from Slimbach that really resonated with me was when he said, “What matters most is not that there are virgin lands awaiting original discovery. 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 179-180).  The quote kind of spoke to me because there isn’t too much to discover for the human race anymore, but, I can always discover new things for myself.  It was also meaningful to me because it made me think of being a child.  When you are a kid you are constantly discovering things for the yourself, for the first time, everything is new and exciting.

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To accompany me on my trip to Perugia I chose the book Gironimo by Tim Moore.
The book is about a British author, Tim Moore, riding the route of the 1914 tour of Italy.  I chose this book because it seemed like the perfect combination of humor and history.  I also chose it in hopes that it would provide an alternative look at traveling around Italy.

Works Cited

Moore, Tim. Gironimo!: Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC, 2010. Print.

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