Saturday, August 4, 2012

Home Sweet Home... Alone: Some Closing Thoughts

When I got home on Thursday, August 2, my family was away camping. Although I was more than anxious to see them, I got some much needed alone time.

I know I've already talked about some reverse culture shock, and after my stay in New York and Missouri, I was already reclimatized to the United States enough. But being home though adds something to the mix. I'm having some pretty condradictory feelings. There's so much to say, I hardly know where to begin...

I learned that I'm more capable and independent than I thought. I also learned that there will always be people I need to rely on, especially my church family. I took on traveling alone well enough, and I even thought I'd do alright in London by myself, but I was glad to find church family around the world to be there for me. In Lithuania, I found myself far more bold than I expected. I was okay with getting around, going places alone, and asking questions. It definitely drew me out of my shell. But again, I was greatful for my church family who made my stay incredibly more enjoyable and fulfilling.
I also learned a lot about culture and cultural differences. The program at ISM threw groups together from various countries, forcing us to work together and attempt to bridge the gaps and see eye to eye. This experience definitely helped me understand and appreciate the differences between people.
This leads me to say a little about my thoughts on globalization. I honestly didn't have too much of a positive or negative view of globalization before my travels, and now I can say much the same, only with a little more thought backing it up. I think globalization is a good thing in the aspects for what it can to for an economy. One of the friends I made in Lithuania at the church told me that in recent years, a lot of Lithuanian young people have been leaving the country to try to get a better chance for work elsewhere. Globalization can help this in a sense, possibly bringing more jobs to the country and thus boosting the economy. However, I understand that globalization can be detremental to a society's culture. All things considered, globalization is a good thing as long as the people of a society can hold firm to their culture and its elements.

After this experience and learning about people and places around the world, coming home to Colorado was bittersweet. I love this state, and I've lived here my entire life, but it almost felt like returning to a little box when I have had a chance to explore and venture much further out. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to be back, but I feel like a bird that just was made to return to a cage. Nonetheless, I am excited to return to UNC in the fall.

I do plan on returning to Lithuania, and if you want that whole story, read "The Bigger Picture: A God Thing," a post on this blog that you can get to by following this link:

I'm excited for what the future holds, and I definitely recommend an experience like this for everyone who has the chance.

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