Travel Log #14 “Global Connections & Rites of Separation” By Andrew Rivera Barcelona, Spain

 

“If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” said by Slimbach. Throughout all of our readings he has provided us with numerous quotes that we can relate back to our study abroad experience. And now that it is coming to an abrupt end we can really reflect on our time overseas. In my personal experience I was able to travel to other countries and saw many cultures that were different from the states and from my host country. This connects back to the quote, I was able to see the world and dive deeper into the culture by the food, people, museums, and sites. Also by many of the videos and readings throughout the semester had an impact on me because I was able to see many different sides of cultures around the world.

All of my experiences have molded me into a brand new person. Before my time abroad I have never been to Europe, I have only heard stories from family and friends, and seen pictures from their travels. But now that I have lived in Spain for four months and have gotten to know the culture, values, and social norms of Barcelona I feel as if I am in the slightest bit a local. Towards the end of my time abroad I was the one getting mad at the amount of tourists in the city, and how many people were in the streets in general. But at the start in January I was a tourist myself. It was funny to me how in such a short span I was able to adapt and change to a culture that was so much different to what I was used to for my entire life.

As this journey comes to an end I can truly say that I had the time of my life, and it was a life changing experience. I met people that will be my friends forever, and that I will definitely meet up with in the future. I traveled to places that I wouldn’t have even imagined going to, and I have memories that will last me a lifetime. Now that I have to say goodbye to the people that I have built relationships with and not know when the next time I will see them is very hard to do. We will probably go out to a nice dinner with some drinks for one last hoorah. It will be a sad time, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

My emotions at this point are very mixed. Since my family visited just two weeks before I got home I really missed them for the last weeks, but I really felt like I could live in Barcelona forever. I have been talking to my friends back home more since I will soon be with them, and my parents have been preparing for my return home as well. I am very anxious to go home since I haven’t seen my extended family in four months but I still want to travel and explore more. But I know that I have to snap back into reality when I get back home.

IMG_5677One quote that I would say highlights my emotions after studying abroad it would be from a travel article that I found online. It is by Ibn Batutta, “Traveling – leaves you speechless, then turns you into a story teller.”

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Travel Log 15: “There’s no place like home? Rites of Reincorporation” By Ryan Bonitz. Huntington, New York.

Each semester at Quinnipiac I have had friends return from their semester abroad claiming that they are a “new person.” To be honest, I previously thought that was an over-exaggeration. Prior to this semester I was already well traveled, so I wondered if people felt changed because it was their first time seeing the world outside of the US. I quickly learned that these previous travel experiences were nothing in comparison to physically living in the host country. The level of discomfort rises dramatically when you don’t get to return home a week or two after arrival. At the same time, it also makes the experience significantly more rewarding. Therefore, the process of separation from my host country has been nothing like anything I have ever experienced. Slimbach states: “Smooth transitions and trial-free sojourns are rarities. No matter how well prepared, broad-minded, or full of good intentions we may be, entering a new culture knocks our cultural props out from under us. We spend decades learning ‘the ropes’ for effective functioning within our own society. Then, without warning, our mental programming is upset” (pg 152). As Slimbach explains, the process of assimilating to our new culture was quite arduous. So how are we supposed to just get up and leave after all the mental and physical work we put into becoming someone new? Which ‘ropes’ do we now follow, the ones we grew up learning or the new ones we learned in our host country?

Leaving Barcelona was very hard, but at this point necessary as I became the sickest I have ever been after a weekend in Morocco. It was just this week that I was taken off of constant medication. Of course I miss the freedom of living in such a big and beautiful city, along with a new adventures every weekend. However, the hardest adjustment for me has been the reincorporation process here in America. I feel like part of me is still in Spain. Here I feel more restricted than ever. I can’t just walk out my front door to a new adventure. Friends, food, and fun activities just feel so far away. People want to hear about my time in Spain, but after a few minutes they begin to appear bored. People don’t want to hear all the funny stories or amazing adventures you experienced with your newfound friends. At the same time, it’s hard to tell them these stories because they don’t quite understand or appreciate what you have seen and done.

It’s been hard for me to look at my hometown the same since returning home. Huntington has been my home all my life; I have always loved it for its large size and high energy. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my life here. But it’s hard not to feel like my surroundings have shrunk. My large Long Island town doesn’t feel so huge anymore, and the people aren’t as perfect as I thought they were. Meeting people from all over the world has given me a new perspective as to what it really means to be a global citizen. I have definitely noticed some changes in my everyday habits. The first day home (unfortunately spent seeing multiple doctors for my mystery illness from Morocco) I said hola to the first stranger I saw. I know that’s a small thing, but it showed me how comfortable I had become speaking the local language that it was just second nature. I even nearly left a restaurant without tipping (oops).

I shared my separation letter with my best friend Kerry. I wanted to share it with my parents, but I think I need more time for that. They are so happy that I had such a great experience, that I am not ready to tell them how unhappy I am to be back in the states. Of course it is not because of them, but I would hate for them to take it that way, as if they are inferior to Barcelona. I have seen Kerry a few times since my arrival. However just the other day was our first normal day since I have been sick. This may sound weird, but I shared it with her at our barn. It is where both of us feel most at home. We sit in my horse Jake’s stall all the time and talk about life. I explained to her my feelings about missing Barcelona and feeling lost in a town where I was always so comfortable before. Of course she was supportive, but wasn’t exactly sure what to say. She hasn’t seen the world in the same way I have, and is fully aware of that. However, I am more than appreciative of her friendship and know that I can always go to her when I’m feeling this way. I am forever grateful to have such a supportive best friend.

Works Cited

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

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Kerry and I the same day I shared my separation letter. 

Travel Log 14 “Global Connections & Rites of Separation” by Elizabeth Marino. Barcelona, Spain

Throughout chapter two of Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning, Slimbach discusses how many people abuse their experiences abroad. He explains that many travelers take part in activities that are for their own personal advantage and are meant to be self-satisfying. Slimbach wants travellers to find themselves “comprehending the world in order to remake it” (Slimbach, location 880 of 4428). He wants people to use their global learning experience to work towards changing the world for the better. Global learning is not limited to learning about the countries that one visits. Rather, a huge aspect of global learning is about discovering yourself. When Slimbach states “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within,” he refers to how global learning can unearth whom you really are inside. As my experience abroad comes to an end, in my own journey I can see what Slimbach is speaking of. While I absorbed the culture and learned about many different aspects of the European countries I visited, I learned just as much about myself and who I am. One experience I would recommend to any student travelling abroad is to do a solo trip. I travelled to Alicante, Spain on my own for a weekend, and in this one trip I learned almost more about myself than in my entire trip. I discovered what I was capable of, and this gave me confidence. I also learned about some of my flaws, and this gave me insight on what I could work on to better my way of life.

When your experience abroad proves successful in helping you to discover yourself, you return from you experience feeling more whole. Through global learning about yourself you can fill the voids that had pushed you to partake in self-serving and self-gratifying activities. Without the need to participate in such activities, you can focus on the real issue at hand. Slimbach reiterates throughout chapter two that we must set a goal for a better earth, and as daunting as the task may seem we must work towards changing aspects of society to something healthier for both people and the environment. I think taking part in such a task is what can qualify someone as a global citizen. I will take what I’ve learned and observed about global connections to help alter how I live my life in a way that is better for this earth.

With this adventure in Spain and Europe coming to a close, I can’t help but feel sad. I keep saying to myself, I can’t believe it’s almost over. Three and a half months went by in what seemed like three weeks, and it’s difficult to comprehend one of the best times of my life coming to an end. One thing I’ll really miss is my favorite café, Puiggros, in Barcelona. Sure, you can find cafés in the U.S., but not like this one. The atmosphere couldn’t be more inviting for enjoying your coffee or tea and some of the best pastries the city has to offer. These past few days I have been returning to Puiggros each day, trying to hold on to one of my favorite places. I did this as a way to say goodbye. I take solace in the fact that I gave myself time to fully experience and enjoy this café, and I won’t return home feeling like I didn’t allow myself enough time there. I believe that these actions, such as saying goodbye, will help me move into the phase of reincorporation. By revisiting and saying goodbye to things that I love about Europe, I can choose what I want to hold on to and incorporate into my new being when I return. I also think saying goodbye will help me to move smoothly into the reincorporation phase without slipping back into the liminal phase. Many of us know the quote by Alexander Graham Bell “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us”. I believe that my actions will help me to see that new door that is opened by my return home.

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

Travel Log 13: “Connecting Rites of Passage and Digital Storytelling” by Nicole Muckenhirn. Gold Coast, Queensland

This course has been about the study abroad experience as a rite of passage and how we grow as students and people in general.  It brought a different and unique perspective to my study abroad experience to contemplate how I was moving through the phases.

In Rites of Passage as a Framework for Community Interventions with Youth by David G. Blumenkrantz and Marc B. Goldstein the rites of passage theory is explored with an emphasis on its presence, or lack thereof in American culture.  “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” (Arnett).  The authors reason this by stating that the ages in which Americans receive adult privileges like driving, drinking, and voting have nothing to do with actual maturity and competence (Blumenkrantz & Goldstein).  I agree with the authors to a certain extent.  It’s true that as Americans we receive privileges when we reach certain ages, but the same can be said for most developed countries around the world.    The authors point though is that adolescents will often break these rules and participate in activities in order to show adulthood.  This is particularly true of drinking and drug use.  I personally don’t know any kids who have actually waited till they were 21 to drink alcohol.  There is so much societal pressure to begin before that, especially in college.  The question then is whether a rite of passage is present.  Even if teens do drink before turning 21 I still believe it is a milestone for someone to be able to order their first legal drink.  But I do think it is also a rite of passage.  Being legal is the final stage, it is incorporation where someone is finally part of the group and not just being stuck trying to be.

I’m very nervous about creating my digital story.  It’s a daunting task to come up with a short video that encompasses what I’ve truly taken away from my study abroad experience.  I’m drawn to highlighting certain aspects of my trip that stood out the most but that’s not what the assignment is looking for.  The digital stories purpose is to showcase growth and show people my experience, not “tell” them.  Something that is easier said than done.  All of the elements from “twenty elements of rites of passage” are important to my rite of passage abroad, but I obviously can’t touch on them all during a 3-5 minute video.  The ones that seem most important to me are adversity or personal challenge, silence, and connection with nature.  These components are about challenging yourself both mentally and physically, developing an internal dialogue, and finding the connection and interdependence to the natural environment.  When I think of my time abroad the most persistent memories are of the amazing sceneries and the feeling that they evoked.  I hope to be able to capture these in my video essay.

The video that stands out the most to me is by Rachel Cox in Paris, France.  I like this video because of the emotions it evoked in me.  She didn’t just tell me about her time in Paris, she was able to use specific details to show her growth.  She doesn’t let the video become cluttered.  Instead she draws the viewer in with twinkling lights and peaceful music.  It makes you want to be there with her.

Travel Log 12: “Service” by Nicole Muckenhirn. Gold Coast, Queensland

When people think of Australia some of the first things that come to mind are koalas and kangaroos.  I absolutely love animals and was so excited to see them.  Thankfully, I’ve gotten lots of opportunities to see this animals and others at wildlife parks in Queensland.  Something that’s really important to me is seeing that animals are treated fairly.  It’s great to be able to see them, but it’s terrible if going means the animals are forced to live in terrible enclosures.  A few weeks ago I went to Bali and I saw this first hand.  Unlike the U.S. and Australia, they’re animal laws aren’t very strong.  My friends and I visited Turtle Island and we were shocked by what we saw.  Turtles were packed in shallow muddy water with no room to move, monkeys in small dirty cages, iguanas chained around the waist.  It was heartbreaking and we couldn’t leave the place fast enough.  So, when I thought of community service I wanted to engage in here in Australia I thought of the animals.  I wanted to go behind the scenes at a wildlife park and make sure that the animals were being treated right. 

I decided to volunteer at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.  I chose it for two reasons, I had already been there as a visitor and loved it, and it’s the closest to where I reside.  I started the process by filling out the online application which was actually quite extensive.  It took a long time to get my volunteer day set up.  They had to process my application and then my day had to be set up at least 10 days in advance.  With all the trips I was taking and finals this meant the only day I could go was 2 days before I left Australia for good.  It was hard because I didn’t want to spend one of my last days away from my friends, but then I realized that this was also an amazing opportunity that I would always remember when I thought of Australia.

Volunteering at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was an interesting experience.  After arriving at 7 in the morning I was given a neon orange vest and a hat that said Currumbin Wildlife Volunteer.  I then spent the rest of the day going around the park with different Wildlife Keepers as they went about their daily rounds.  I began the day with a woman named Jane in the reptile section.  We prepped food for the animals and then began feeding them.  This took almost all morning as the animals all had specific diets and needs. The park has to be kept orderly so I spent the rest of the time before lunch raking and sweeping around the park.  After lunch I was lucky enough to follow the wildlife keepers in charge of the Koalas.  They were very informative and it was really reassuring to see how well the animals were treated.  Holding a Koala is one of the “must do” activities for many people visiting Australia.  But, what many people don’t realize is that they are very sensitive marsupials who are protected because of concerns towards their sustainable future in the wild.  Australian states that allow Koala holding are Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia.  In these states that do allow handling of Koalas it is strictly regulated.  Koalas can only work a maximum of 30 minutes a day for three days, then they must get a day off.  The wildlife keepers were very strict about this and made sure that all of the Koalas were kept safe. 

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Seeing as I was in a neon vest with a volunteer cap I had countless people coming up to me all day asking questions.  As I had very little knowledge about the park and am not an expert on any of the animals I always had to direct them to actual staff, but if I was not busy, I would go with them to learn the answer myself. 

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of other”.  I think this quote represents the day I spent at Currumbin.  In the beginning of my day I was upset about missing a beach day with friends, but as it went on I realized how much I was learning and that even the smallest thing I did was a big help.  The park relies on volunteer to keep it looking beautiful and give the wildlife keepers an extra hand.  Being able to give back to the Australian community in even the smallest way was a great way to end my trip.

Travel Log 14: “Global Connections & Rites of Separation” by Janine Jay. London, England

With only two weeks left in my new home, I’ve spent the entire morning wondering how I am going to fit in seeing all of my favorite spots before my departure. I don’t want to even start to think about how I need to pack up all of my belongings and leave, so I’m distracting myself by having every day packed with adventures both new and old to make sure that no stone is left unturned before I leave. On my last night, it only seems right to leave the way I started and return to the first pub I ever went to. But I have been taking walks every day to try to take pictures of everything that I can. These confusing and sometimes scary streets have become familiar, each turn containing a memory.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my past 125 days in London and trying to compare myself at the beginning of this journey with who I am now at the end. Have I managed to take the best of both of my new homes and combine it into a single persona? As Slimbach remarks, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” (2010, pg. 54) My time in this bustling city has allowed me to encounter people from all types of life, from my professors to the people you sit next to in the tube. The global learning that I have encountered has allowed me to learn about London and its vast history, and also about myself. When I observe cultures different than my own, I am not only learning about those cultures but I can also analyze my own with a keen eye to ask myself questions such as “why do we really have an instinct to make a batch of 24 cookies rather than 9?”. (I think it’s to do with hospitality)

This new perspective on myself and my country caused me to reflect on the elements of my culture which with I agree and disagree. I’ve begun to see healthcare, economic, and foreign policy issues in a new light. Just last week on a long 10-hour bus ride back to London I went through the UK border control at the English Channel where a mother and her daughter were turned away after traveling the same journey as me. Why am I allowed to go through when they are turned away after doing nothing wrong? Being a global citizen means that I am obligated to be more informed about what is going on in the world and what effect it will have on the future. Though I am just an individual, my small contribution will always make a big impact on the world whether directly or indirectly.

The context of my global travel has helped me to shape the person I am today. Without the physical separation of myself from my home, I would not have the mind space to reflect on the actions I take automatically. Slimbach touches on this connection when he says, “Humans are specially graced with reflective consciousness and the capacity to choose among the possibilities of our nature. As such, we have the unique opportunity to connect an inner journey of self-discovery with an outer journey of world discovery.” (2010, pg. 51) The clues from the world around me spark ideas about my own philosophy and the way in which I live my life. This in turn evolves into a reflection of how each of my actions affects others. Like moving gears on a clock I’m starting to see that every turn I take makes the whole machine tick.

 

Works Cited

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

Travel Log 15: “There’s No Place Like Home? Rites of Reincorporation” by Mitchell McGowan. Quincy, Massachusetts.

Going from the sunny Gold Coast to the cold and dreary Boston weather was difficult at first, but I feel like I am slowly becoming more accustomed to my native community. In the beginning, it was the little things that challenged or surprised me. For example, it took a little bit to get used to driving on the right side of the road again. While it was not necessarily a challenge, these changes were different and shook up the way I functioned. Another example would be the types of food available. When I left for Australia, I had to adapt to the loss of brands and types of foods I was so accustomed to in Boston. Now that I am back home, it is almost overwhelming that I get my old foods back, while feeling sad that I lost my Australian foods. Even dressing for the weather is different. I became so accustomed to having around ten days of rain and overwhelming heat through my entire time abroad. Coming back home, I have to get back into the habit of dressing better for cold or rainy weather.

When I sat down with my family and read them my Reincorporation Letter, I felt as though they did not understand it at first. While they knew that I was returning as a changed individual, it didn’t really make sense as I was saying it to them. To make it easier for them to understand, I used the idea of a car to explain reincorporation. I said that the car (the community) was made up of several parts (the individual members). Pieces can be taken out of the car and upgraded to help increase the performance of the car, but they still perform the same function. I basically told my family that I was the same person, I was just a better and more experienced version compared to the person I was before the study abroad experience. I feel like once I explained it to my family, and they understood the process I was going through, they accepted and affirmed my growth. To me, it really helped that my family accepted the changes I made during my time abroad. Hearing them say that I seem more mature and older tells me that I successfully went through a rite of passage.

The “gems” that come from study abroad are the new experiences and ideas gained throughout travels. To me, it is easy to keep the gems, because it is something we have learned to love while abroad. If the gem is a new type of food we liked in our host country, then we may find a place to get it here in America. If it is an event or sporting event, we may look for it in our own neighborhoods. I think that in order to keep the gems we have found, we just need to continue enjoying what we have learned.

On the other hand, we have bad habits that need to be changed or addressed. Slimbach compares it to a stream that always finds the quickest path for water to flow. We sub-consciously set routines for ourselves that once we begin, it becomes hard to quit. I believe and agree with Slimbach when he writes, “To change a deep-rooted habit, you must take steps to divert the steam- that is, to subconsciously change the habit.” (Slimbach LOC 4120). I follow this method whenever I try to change something in my life. For example, I wanted to improve my cardio health, so I would make sure that I had to run every night. I became so accustomed to running every night; I could not sleep if I didn’t do my exercise. While I do not believe I have any habits to change, if any arise I know I can combat it.

A quote that represents how I feel right now comes from James Cash Penney. He said, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” I relate to this because I felt as though my growth through study abroad experience had been through group effort. I relied heavily on my friends in the liminal stage to help me learn, and I am now relying on my friends and family during reintroduction to my native community. My growth is because I was helped along the way.

 

Works Cited:

 

Slimbach, R. (2010). Becoming world wise: a guide to global learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC. LOC 4120

 

Travelogue 14 “Global Connections & Rites of separation<” by Breanna Hegarty. Galway, Ireland.

Initially when coming abroad I thought I was the only one that decided to come abroad, not simply because I wanted to travel and have fun, but because I was hoping it would help me discover who I am or at least who I want to be. It wasn’t until reading chapter 2 of Simbach’s Becoming World Wise did I realize that I am not the only one who enters a new world, a world of liminality, to find myself. He states, “The sudden vulnerability we experience as we arrive in an unknown place stripped of familiar surroundings, people, and routines, renders us acutely aware of who we are, or at least who we are not. Except this only truly works if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to open ourselves to the culture and the new world, without pre-conceived notions or comparisons of our homeland. As Simbach states, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” (p.54). But in order to acquire global learning, we must question and consider how this new world you have embarked on works: what do they value, how do they function. How they are looking to improve. For-instance in Ireland they value history, knowledge and using and maintaining as much natural resources as they can, which is why their land is filled with preserved ruins and acres upon acres of fields and stonewalls. Coming from America in which our daily routine is filled with unnecessary waste and damage to the land, and then coming to Ireland in which they are extremely dedicated to limiting waste and pollution, was an extreme change for me.  Ireland was also extremely international in culture, forcing me to adapt to all types of cultures on a daily basis. Being here in Ireland and living by their culture and values has definitely made me realize that I want to be a more conscientious person in regards to the environment as well as when interacting with people of other cultures.

 

As I come closer to the end of my stay here, I begin to realize all the little things that I am going to miss about Ireland: how green and lively everything is, how nice the people are, how regardless of where you go you will always either hear music or see dancing, and you will always hear laughter throughout the streets. But the thing I will miss the most is the home that my friends and I have built for ourselves. Simbach states, “that ‘home’ isn’t just a physical space we inhabit but a lifestyle we construct. It’s a cherished set of values, relationships, places, and rituals that we learn to assemble wherever we are” (p.208). I didn’t realize how strong the relationships I built with these people here were until we were all sitting around a dinner table laughing. Before anyone left we all had a “family” dinner like the many we have had before, except this time it was our last. There was a lot of laughter and stories but then it became quiet and sad once we realized that we had to start saying goodbye to each other. In the five months living here, we had all became a family, this had become our home. It wasn’t until saying goodbye did we realize that we will never be coming back to this home again and that we will most-likely never see each other again, or at least all together like a family. It’s crazy how quickly you can grow attached to people and how they imprint themselves onto your heart, when they were complete strangers only a mere few months ago. As sad as it is saying goodbye, I will never take this experience or my relationship with these people for granted and I will always cherish the home I have made with them.

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Travel log 15: “There’s No Place Like Home? Rites of Reincorporation” by Kirsten Fraser. Branchburg, New Jersey

One’s community signifies meaning to a Rites of Passage experience. Upon reincorporation one needs affirmation from the community; if this does not occur one will go back to their old self and the lessons learned and changes made will be lost. After being away for several months the reincorporation phase has had some challenges. I would consider myself again a liminal being, neither here nor there. I am no longer in Australia; however, I do not yet feel like myself at home either. I enjoyed many of the changes prevalent within Australia and being back has made me even more appreciative of them. I find myself daydreaming of the day I will be back in the country I grew to love. As Slimbach said, “One day we imagine spending the rest of our lives in our new home away from home.” (2010, pg. 204)

Sadly, that day is far into the future for me if at all. After sharing my reincorporation letter with my friends and family I felt much more at home. I was able to share with them my experiences and what they meant to me. It made me feel much closer to them, being able to share the best four months of my life with them. It also helped me to leave Australia behind. I loved every second of it but it is time to move on… for now. To help explain the concept of reincorporation I cited the quote by Lyndon B. Johnson that states, “International education cannot be the work of one country. It is the responsibility and promise of all nations. It calls for free exchange and full collaboration…The knowledge of our citizens is one treasure which grows when it is shared.” I think this quote helps explain why sharing my experiences with them is so important and is a vital part of the Rite of Passage experience. It also helps explain the benefits of a healthy reincorporation; this will allow me to grow and bring the lessons learned abroad into my life at home. My home community was ecstatic and celebrated the growth I had made abroad, which has meant the world to me. It has allowed me to look forward to the future instead of dwelling on wanting to relive my amazing experience.

In order to not loose what I gained from my experience, I am going to use the advice of Slimbach to reduce my consumption of junk food to improve my health as well as reduce my impact on my planet. Traveling across the across the globe uses tons of jet fuel, therefore, this can be one of the ways I make up for this. I will also implement other changes such as only using reusable water bottles and reusable grocery bags to name a few. I will also “discover the joy of less”. I noticed Australians as not as obsessed with material wealth, they do not always need the newest phone or tons of clothes. I enjoy shopping; however, one should only shop for what they truly need. I will live by the motto less is more.

The lessons I’ve learned through out my experience will require me to break many of the habits I have formed. I tend to be a much more quiet person; however, I enjoyed that Australians were always friendly and were always willing to help others. I would like to adopt the Australian way of life even though I know it will be quite difficult for me. However, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” I traveled to some of the most beautiful places on this planet but if I do not carry the lessons learned on such journeys with me then the true meaning of my time abroad will be lost. Thankfully, with the help of Slimbach, I have found several ways to achieve this.

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

Travel Log 14: Global Connections and Rites of Seperation

Global learning is extremely important. Without global learning we become a nation of patriotic sheep. We would not learn of the world and the world would not learn of us and if they did it would not be kind. We see ourselves as a reflection of how others treat us. If all of the people we meet are similar and from the same place how can we expect to understand who and how we truly are. By moving out of your hometown even you make a huge stride in understanding yourself but by going to a place dissimilar entirely you are literally crossing oceans.

The ability to travel in a meaningful way is extremely important in order to understand one’s self. In major and in minor ways as well. By seeing more of the world you are able to see so many different ways of life and in turn learn from them. Coming home you are then able to take all that you have preferred and incorporate it into how you would like to be. I have seen many things and now would like to change my life back at home. “All too often, however, we lack a coherent tale, a ‘loom’ to weave all our learning into a fabric of hopeful action in the world,” (Slimbach 131). With what I have learned I am able to create this loom. I am able to express what I have seen and how I would like to see change take place in my life and in the world around me. Thankfully, I am a natural communicator so being able to explain these changes should come naturally to me.

As my time in Barcelona comes to an end I am happy to have had my time but also happy to be heading home. I am glad that I have been able to call Barcelona home for a few months but being back in my own bed will be quite nice. The night before I left I went up to a beautiful viewpoint that overlooks the whole city. As the sun set behind us I was surrounded by friends, old and new. We headed to dinner after and toasted and celebrated our time in Barcelona. It was a great night with great food and now, great friends. On my last day I finished my packing and took a walk around my neighborhood taking it all in for one more time before I headed home. Seeing the beautiful Catalan design of Sant Pau hospital one last time was great. Hearing the sounds of the city made me calm and who can forget the smells of the restaurants and bakeries all around. My time in Barcelona was great and I can be sure I will be back sometime.