I now find myself having reached the end of my second semester in Southeast Asia. While my experience on the trip has been quite different this time around, being in a leadership position, I have enjoyed learning more in-depth about the cultures, watching the students expand their minds and world-views, and every moment of returning to the places I have come to love so much. It has been a challenge in many moments to find the balance in leadership within an SSU context, and though I have been far from perfect, I really do feel that I’ve done my best.
My world gets both smaller and larger with every step; as I become more and more comfortable with the places I’ve been, my mind opens up to new adventures and opportunities. At a critical crossroads, I find these new-found opportunities to be equally inspirational and frightening.
I’ve now spent 6.5 months abroad with SSU over the course of the past 5 years. The experience has been nothing short of incredible. As each trip has helped shape my views, each country – each city – has aided in the quest of learning who I am, and how I fit in to this huge world I am a part of. Learning to embrace the eastern world without abandoning my western foundation, and learning to see the value in every culture has shaped so much of my understanding. Learning to live and form lifelong friendships with people so different from myself is an experience beyond words. However painful and stretching some of these experiences have been, I wouldn’t trade my time with SSU for anything.
I’m taking a month post-Asia to detox from emotional buildup over the past month. I arrived yesterday in Vancouver, where I now rest with great friends, who consist coincidentally mostly of SSU alumni.
May the road rise to meet you.