Well, this week got off to a rough start, as I got really sick from I don’t know exactly what. I`ll spare you the details, but needless to say I was pretty miserable Sunday through Tuesday. Also, being sick made me really really homesick for my bed, bathroom, and mostly for my mom. Whilst in the throes of my sickness I had a lot of time by myself to reflect. Being so sick and then getting better and feeling so great, like I had died and been resurrected, made me reflect on my good health and the preciousness of such a gift. My good health is something I usually take for granted and only reflect on when it is momentarily taken away. It is something so many people take for granted. But it is so precious. I have been blessed to have been born able-bodied and also with healthy functioning organ systems and a great immune system which has been strengthened throughout my life also. I know that I need to take better care of my body. Youth can have this funny way of making you feel invincible and immortal. But that feeling is starting to erode as I age and reflect more on my health. I know that I need to start changing my eating and exercising habits and also taking better care to protect my skin from the sun. I think this time, post-graduation, is a good time to start slowly making these lifestyles changes, seeing as it is a time of transition and uncertainty. I know that I need to start out by making small, realistic goals, and that I will be encouraged to continue by accomplishing these small wins.
All this reflection during my time abroad has made me realize how much you learn about yourself when traveling. When you find yourself in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by a foreign culture and language, you really start to reflect more critically on who you are, what your culture is, and also on your home country.Your own values and worldviews are challenged and therefore sometimes changed. But in the end, your values can become more your own and less a simple reflection of your upbringing. Your values become stronger but somehow, at the same time, more flexible. Because if you immerse yourself in another culture, you can see the world from a different point of view; you can learn about and experience the validity of someone else`s values that may be different from your own. And you realize how your viewpoint is just one of many. And that what you think, feel, see, and learn is based on where you stand in the world, on your point of view. I think that immersion and community-making and sharing of life stories, which sadly does not happen on many people`s travels, can lead to a deeper, more complex perspective on many things.