Friday, May 25, 2018

International travel provides a new perspective and pace of life

Tanya Kewalramani ’14

Staff Writer

It’s still hard to believe that fall is here. I’ve been hanging on to every bit of summer that I can. While everyone around me has started wearing sweaters and boots, I still wear leggings, shorts, skirts and anything else that reminds me of summer. Soon enough, I will have to start wearing fall clothes but until that moment comes I refuse to succumb to the cold weather.

Now that routines have fallen into place, and everyone is in the swing of things, it’s hard to believe that summer flew by so quickly. The other day whilst I was at the Cave, someone was talking to the cashier and they said they could not believe that summer was so short. I laughed at them, because it seemed absurd at the time. We were off for four months! On Facebook, everyone was talking about how they could not wait to be back at school. I was one of them! More than three weeks into the semester and I’m ready for another vacation.

This summer I had some of the most amazing experiences of my life during my travels to Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Dubai, Bombay and Kashmir. Visiting all of these countries in the space of a month and a half was a whirlwind experience.

What I found to be the most fascinating besides the sights in these countries, were the people and the way in which their life experiences had brought them where they were. One of our safari guides and drivers in Tanzania was an inspiration to me.  He was 24 years old, could speak Mandarin, Spanish and French and had a Phd in Environmental Studies. Living in such a poor country had motivated him further to gain a proper standing in today’s world. Living in America provides us with so many opportunities and somehow many of us are so enthralled by the world of drinking, clubbing, Facebook and so many other technological things, that we have somehow forgotten that we need to seize every given opportunity we have to really hold our own in today’s fast paced and hectic world.

In Kashmir, I lived on a houseboat, wore Kashmiri clothes and ate some delicious food. My family and I saw some of the most beautiful sights and stayed on mountains and hilltops. On the last leg of our trip, I remember we all went up a mountain on horseback, got stuck in the rain and had to huddle together in a tiny little shack. In our soaking wet clothes we went back downhill on the horse, soaking wet and cold. It could sound terrible to some people, but to me, it really was a dream come true. I was amidst the clouds, rainbows and I bonded with my family. Where else would I get an opportunity like this? My face whilst it rained was enough to make my whole family laugh at me, but then I realized just how ridiculous I was really being.

The whole world has so much to offer. We need to travel more, and understand how the rest of the world functions, and what kind of lives they live. In America we are surrounded by malls, a constant rain of new technology and the need to always get the latest items the minute they are released.

In other countries, their pace of life is fascinating as well. We could learn so much from them, and it’s time that we do.




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