I have anticipations, but I am often numb to change until I experience it. I have been trying to pinpoint my exact emotions towards this trip to Southeast Asia, but the more I try to psychoanalyze my expectations and thoughts, the more I realize it is not about what I expect. What I am sure of, is that I am excited to be uncomfortable, confused, and challenged. To me, that is living, as well as learning. I believe this travel abroad will give me an opportunity to reflect on my North American life, mindset, and expectations. I believe it is sobering to be immersed in another culture in order to make us realize that our Western lifestyle is by no means the standard for a ‘good life’.
Being educated and exposed to a portion of the world’s cultures is a valuable part of life, and I do not want to take this experience for granted. There are so many things that Southeast Asia can teach me, and I have been praying that I will keep my eyes and ears open to it’s lessons. The sights, sounds, people, and places, no matter where we are, tell a story of their own, and I am looking forward to listening to other perspectives about the world, and ultimately challenge my own.
I love my home, family, and a familiar place, but I am also anxious for unfamiliarity. I fully believe that the classroom can only go so far, and at a certain point, the experience of contacting the foreign cultures we learn about must take precedence over our regular schooling. I am all together anxious, nervous, and ecstatic to leave for Southeast Asia, and am looking forward to the adventure ahead.