Traveling

I was not particularly good about blogging while in Switzerland and I still have not really caught up with it. Probably over time as I get back into the habit of blogging this fall.
However, a quote caught my attention recently that very much plays into how I am feeling about my time since the trip, so I will do a quick post.

“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” – Pico Iyer

The reason that quote spoke to me right now is that even though I have been back in the United States for two months now, I still feel like I am picking away at what I learned and observed while in Switzerland. I am slowly connecting what worked there and what happens here and how those things are similar and different. I think this will be ongoing for quite a while as I continue on my path at Virginia Tech and even after I leave Blacksburg.

Michael asked most of the group on our last night in Riva San Vitale why the Global Perspectives Trip was so good and if it had to be in Switzerland. I’m not even sure what I responded then, but as I reflect on the quote and on that question, I think the trip is powerful and meaningful for all of us who have had the honor and privilege to go on it because we are not in the U.S. Yes, you could have “grad school camp” relatively close-by and learn a lot of things about other nation’s higher education, but it is being forced into a situation and a country that you are not familiar with that changes you the most. The country probably does not have to be Switzerland, but it does have the best of multiple worlds—where English is not a primary language, but most people do know it. That is helpful for those whose first time out of the U.S. was this trip. Traveling so far away from home meant that we were all ready to be transformed. We went into it with an open mind and curiosity and we got a lot out of the experience because of that.

I look forward to more transformative travel in the coming times.

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