The challenge seems the same whenever I travel somewhere new. How do I take my experiences I’m gaining and make them a part of how I view the world and the way I live within it? I’m finding that as I have been traveling through the Philippines and Malaysia I’ve been having so many experiences, but somehow I seem unable to take it all in. I’ve climbed a mountain, wandered through the rainforest at 3 am in the darkness and rain, I’ve helped make a bamboo fence, have stood in the back of a mosque for evening prayer. I’ve spent hours discussing politics and history with my homestay family in the Philippines, I’ve spent hours in broken communication trying to describe my home-life in Canada. I’ve had the opportunity to live in opulence and the opportunity to live in simplicity. Sometimes I feel extremely comfortable and familiar with the strangers I’m with and other times I feel like a tourist and a foreigner, someone who is on the outside.
I’m also struggling with balancing the academic with the experiential. Much of this trip is experiential in learning and we are to take what we experience and communicate it effectively for our benefit and knowledge as well as for others understanding. I haven’t yet found a balance “experiencing” and taking the time to “communicate” my experiences for myself.
We’re on our way to Thailand and I’m finding that I’m longing for more personal time to myself rather than looking for more and more to experience. I think this final leg of our trip will be the time when I will be able to begin sorting through my experiences and drawing out conclusions.