A new feature has been added to the Perspectives page of The Record this semester. “Beyond the Bubble” is a place where people who have had an educational experience, or one that shaped them personally, outside the confines of Goshen College’s often insular campus environment, can share it. This feature came about when I asked a housemate to write a perspective about her off campus internship, and the more I thought about it, the more valuable I realized such a feature could be to me.
Upon reading about other students’ experiences with travel, I began to think about the nature of travel in our socioeconomic class. For the most part, if you can afford to go to college, you can afford to travel, and there are many students who have traveled a great distance to come to this college at all. Often, in my mind, I have associated being well traveled with a mysterious enlightenment or profound experience. I am more inclined to ask someone for a lengthy story about their trip to South America than to ask them about their summer in Goshen. But why?
The more I read about travel experiences, and the more I reflect upon my own time in Senegal for SST, and other trips I have taken, the more I realize that the key to good traveling is to be content with my daily life. No matter where I go, there are the same number of hours in a day, and I will need to fill those hours with sleeping, eating, interacting with people and generally pursuing the mundane activities that I do at home.
While the exotic nature of a faraway land will never lose its romantic hold on me, I feel that I am being led to the conclusion that only by taking joy in everyday occurrences, and learning to enjoy the repetitive activities that constitute daily living, can I appreciate a truly powerful experience when it comes along, whether at home or abroad.