You’ve been lucky enough to venture off into a new culture, and experience that culture with such depth that your home has become a distant memory. Without even realizing it, your life has changed drastically. You’ve become accustomed to this new environment and all the social norms that come with it. That is until you return home. You step off that plane, and hardly anything has changed around you, yet everything has changed for yourself. People can’t see these changes on you; your clothes might be different, and hair might be longer, but these changes are within you and are not easily explainable, let alone identifiable. It is painfully lonely and isolating. The experiences you’ve had come crashing down on you as you try to shift back to your old routine in your home culture. This, is culture shock. I believe its harder coming home than it is going to a live in a new culture. When you travel to somewhere foreign, you’re expecting to feel like an outsider, to feel out of place and know that you are going to need to work to fit in and get used to the lifestyle. When you return home, you are expecting to feel comfort, ease and welcome; yet sometimes, you end up feeling like an outsider in a place that you’ve lived the majority of your life. And that, is unimaginably difficult. Continue reading “Culture Shock”
1. Cultural exposure.
By volunteering abroad you gain a wider perception of the country you’re in. You are not only interacting with locals, but you are interacting with them on a level that is much more complex and sophisticated rather than the more often superficial interactions you would have with them through other means of travelling. Before you know it, you are returning home with a broader vision of the country and as a result, you are more cultured.
2. Personal Growth.
Volunteering abroad changes a lot within a person. Compassion, knowledge, confidence and independence are just some of the characteristics of someone who volunteers abroad will gain. You learn how to socialize with different people with different ethnicities and cultures. You learn so much about yourself and who you aspire to be. Continue reading “10 reasons why you should volunteer abroad”
When I first started writing this post I realized how difficult it is to explain this day. The nostalgia I feel for this point in my life is so real and so strong. I have no way of connecting back to this moment, it’s not something materialistic or objective, and it’s not a place I can return too. It’s a moment in time that will never exist again. Over years the memory of it has been distorted, changed and ultimately, forgotten. We only get so many trips around the sun; we only get so many memories. Eventually, the little details from the happiest days of our lives will slip away. That’s why this is so hard to write. It is such a beautiful memory, and yet I will never be able to remember it all as it truly once was. Continue reading “My response to the best day of my life”
With continuous education and cultural exposure, I have been constantly reflecting on everyday privilege that I, and most of the other people around me, experience. In the spirit of being “stressed out” that I have a million assignments to do, classes to attend, work to go to, volunteer commitments, and ‘somewhat’ of a social life to balance, I have decided to name 75 ways that I am privileged.
The 75 things that happen daily from the moment I wake up to the time I go to sleep, that I am privileged for: Continue reading “75 Daily Occurrences That Make Me Privileged”
June 30, 2011- July 19, 2011
Total showers: 4 Total contact with family/friends: 0
“I am official in Kenya! It is unreal. The trees are gorgeous. The surroundings are like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
“Despite everything, these people are crazy happy”
“I saw a lot of poverty today, women and children carrying water jugs, people living on the side of the streets”
“My reality from home is become more and more distant and my reality here is becoming increasingly real”
“if you want to change the world, you need to change yourself first”
In 2011 I travelled to Mwangaza, Kenya with Me to We. I was immersed in the beautiful culture in the Masai Mara and had the most incredible adventures while living in the village of Mwangaza. I slept in a tent, peed in a hole, had no electricity or forms of communication with the outside world and saw first hand the impact poverty has in rural Africa. It was the best month of my life. See the beauty of this wonderful country for yourself:
This is the story about how I caught the travel bug. It was not the first trip I had been on. It was not the first time I boarded a flight. It was a life changing, extraordinary adventure that continues to impact myself and my decisions daily. This is the story about how I became the person I am today. I was 16 years old. I had just graduated grade 11. I was at a stage in my life where I didn’t know who I was, or where I was going and that was alright. Thanks to the loving and generous support of my parents, I would be heading to Mwangaza, Kenya on a Me to We trip. I would be spending just over three weeks living in a village in the Masai Mara, building a school in a community and partaking in leadership training. Continue reading “How I Caught The Travel Bug”