Travel Log 6: The Mindful Traveler by Mazel B. Genfi London, England

Wow, it’s about to mark a month since I’ve been here and London is still a roller-coaster for me. I’m still managing and learning the ropes as I go and even learning more about myself. Next week, I’ll begin traveling. First stop: Paris for my 20th Birthday. It still feels surreal, that I’m going. I told my mom that I was traveling and her first response wasn’t so nice. It’s just a mom protecting her cub. However, the response from my dad was actually surprising. His response: “That’s really cool. Explore your world.” I was actually taken  a back. I thought my dad would be against it as well. Welp, wait till he hears about Morocco. Slimbach talks about the different types of travelers and the effects of being that type of travelers. The three types are the mindful traveler, carefree traveler, and mass tourists.

 

The care-free drifter is someone who travels without being aware of the culture or helping society.  And I can say, I wasn’t really like that and THANK YOU GOD. I’m such a cautious person,I can’t say that I’m carefree. I’m constantly checking my belongings to see if they’re still in my bag. I’m always yelling at my friends to close their bags because I don’t want to hear anybody crying about being pickpocketed. I would love to be carefree and dainty,  but nope, I can’t. I’m just so afraid of being a victim of petty theft. I love to explore my world, but I need to do it in a way that is safe to me and the people around me.

 

The mass tourist is someone who sticks to a group and tends to see and experience popular attractions. They don’t gain much because as mindful as they think they are, they really aren’t. It could be seen as bad trait, but I feel like everyone goes through it at first. When I first arrived in London, I went to every sight seeing place as possible. I just wanted to say “I’ve seen this” and “I’ve been there. If there’s no picture, it didn’t happen. I don’t think there is anything wrong with be the mass tourist for a short period time. If a person was doing all the time, then it would be detrimental to the whole study abroad experience. The purpose of going abroad isn’t only to sight see the attractions, it is totally more than that. It shouldn’t be only that and it says a lot about the person.

Lastly, the mindful traveler is aware of their surroundings and takes in the culture while contributing to the area. This correlates to what we learned in the workshops before we left. A global citizen as one who will respect, enforce, and embrace diversity for the better good of the society.  Even though it was hard at first, you  learn how to live in london. London isn’t a 24 hour city, so everyone is always on the go. During orientation when we first got here, there was presentation on British culture. I kind of based my knowledge on that, but this weekend I kind of saw more of London. My uncle picked me up and we drove around & I saw more of London than I’ve seen before. We passed by jewish, turkish, and polish communities &  I was just amazed. It made me want to travel a little bit deeper into the city and learn about it more.

The picture I chose was of me at Sky Gardens. Sky gardens is on top of a highrise building and the view is amazing. You could see all of London from it. I could even see buildings of my school from the skyscraper. It was such a surreal feeling and till this day I find it hard to believe that I am here.

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