On page 54, Slimbach states, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within.” (2010, pg. 54) I particularly enjoy this quote and I believe my experiences reflect it. I have truly experience global learning connecting me to the world around me. When visiting other countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Bali, it was exciting to learn about their culture and country. I noticed the biggest difference when visiting Bali, as much of the country lives in poverty and their culture is quite different from my own. It reminded me of Slimbach’s quote when discussing how to be a ‘mindful’ traveler. He states, “To be a “mindful traveler” is to approach our field settings with a level of sensitivity and curiosity that’s raises our conscious awareness of how we affect the social and natural environment we enter and act upon. This intentional awareness finds its ground and inspiration in a “story” that clarifies our motivations and allows higher purposes to guide our attempt to grow in wordily wisdom while enriching the lives of others. Ultimately this is what distinguishes the mindful traveler from the carefree drifter or mass tourist”. (2010, pg. 74) I tried to be sure to be a ‘mindful’ traveler when in Bali, dressing quite conservatively especially when visiting the temples. I attempted to immerse myself in their culture, to truly learn and understand the differences between my own.
However, I think to connect to the world within one must reflect on such experiences. Visiting Bali reminded me of the documentary Half the Sky. Similar issues do occur in Bali, we even noticed that women were treated much differently than men. I traveled with one man and three women including myself; venders would approach the man in our group first and be much more aggressive when trying to sell him something. Our driver was also a male and it was quite evident that he felt much more comfortable talking with the man in our group than the women. Thankfully, this was all I had experienced; however, human trafficking is a large problem within this country. Hearing of this reminded me of the work the Somaly Mam within the documentary. She is quite an inspiration; however, there is only one of her. It made me wonder how the rest of the world can help. To me, being a member of the global community is helping those less fortunate; an accident of birth allowed me to have access to all the opportunities I do. Therefore, upon completion of my degree, I want to work abroad providing healthcare to those who do not readily have access to it.
Sadly, I know it is soon time to say goodbye to the new friends I have made here and all the places I have come to know as home. Saying goodbye to the beautiful beaches a few steps from my doorstep is going to be difficult, but saying goodbye to my friends is going to be even harder. Luckily, some of the friends I have made attend Quinnipiac so I will still be able to see them in the fall. However, for the others, we have already planned to have a ‘goodbye’ dinner. Thankfully, most of them live a drivable distance from me so we can have reunions frequently. As my departure comes closer, I have realized how much I love Australia and would love to someday move here. I am trying to soak up as much of the places I love here before I leave, going to my favorite beaches and dinning at my favorite restaurants, but mostly spending time with the people I know I’ll miss once I return home. My looming departure reminds me of the quote, “Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you, until we meet again.” Although this is goodbye to my friends and Australia for now, I know there will be another hello in my future.
Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC, 2010. Print.