Travel Log 13: “Connecting Rites of Passage and Digital Story Telling” by Alexandra Holmes – Broadbeach, Australia

It is seem time and time again American’s going through “mid life crisis”. This is usually around when a person turns fifty. This mid life crisis usually revolves around the loss of identity with oneself. I believe that this mid life crisis is directly related to the lack of meaningful rites of passage. American’s do not have the typical set stages of their lives that are marked with a right of passage. Sure, we turn twenty-one or we get our first car. But those things do not make us into a man or woman. I believe the mid life crisis is the tipping point for our lack of rites of passage. We are almost thrown into the world and this is realized during the life crisis.

This lack of rite of passage presents a problem to not only America but globally as a whole. This lack of passage is leading to the unhealthy development of Americans. America does not have any rituals that hold them together. When in Bali, I saw multiple ceremonies, which demonstrated to me, the lack of ceremonies in America. I think that the ceremonies brought the Balinese people together. It seemed as if every one had something to celebrate as a community.

One rites of passage that really spoke to me was number 4: “You can only bring someone as far as you have been yourself”. I think that this is extremely important because it is easy to give someone advice when you have never been in their shoes. I personally love to help others but tend to never help myself. I always preach of being happy with you but never tend to truly be happy with me. My experience abroad has taught me the value of myself. I learned to be alone and enjoy that alone time, something that I have never experienced before. Another rites of passage that go along with number 4 is number 8: “Adversity or personal challenge”. In my digital story I plan to find a way to tell a story that addresses my fear of being alone. This fear has overcome my life since before I could remember. Coming abroad has forced me to overcome and embrace this fear. I learned how to be okay with myself and to not need someone at my side at all times. The last rite of passage that also spoke to me was number 12: “Time alone for reflection”. This goes along with my theme of learning to be alone. The ability to take time by myself and look at how far I’ve come has been something that I try to do weekly. The steps that I have been taking to better myself may seem small to others, but they are huge to me. I plan to use my digital story to describe to my family and friends, the changes that I have seen in myself. These changes, which I am extremely proud of. I am still working on myself each and every day. I still struggle at times with being alone. But, “It is a journey, not a destination” and I am immensely proud of myself for the journey that I have embarked on.

The digital story that connected with me the most would be Dan Raza’s digital story about his trip to Thailand and Cambodia. I loved how he talked about getting outside of him comfort zone and making the best of every situation. My favorite part was how he said, that “this was what I signed up for”. He knew his living style would be drastically different but he embraced it with open arms. I like how he did not describe his adventures or his specific challenges into detail. Instead, he spoke generally to encompass his entire study abroad experience. I like how he used his abroad experience to step out of his comfort zone, in order to truly find himself.

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