Pretending to be a senior and prepping for a new phase of travel

Photo by Breanna Reynolds

Photo by Breanna Reynolds

This is the start of my fourth year of nomadism with THINK Global School. Since 2011, I have lived in Ecuador, Thailand, Germany, Argentina, Boston, India, Japan, and New Zealand, all of which presented very different lifestyles, challenges, and community members. These “homes” only indicate a fraction of the incredible locations I experienced alongside students and teachers: the Galapagos Islands, Laos, five other European countries on an Amazing Race and personal adventures, Uruguay, Bhutan, Kashmir, and the Tohoku region of Japan, amongst others.

Just like my seniors, I feel it essential to start looking back at my time here, to gather my thoughts and understand the shift in my world view. I think I’ve grown exponentially here, not just through learning how to teach and communicate but learning how to think from the students and staff that make this a priority.

I have been and continue to be married to the job. You may accurately read into this that I have experienced incredible highs that inspired unending gratitude and strenuous lows that made me question what I’m doing with my life.

This commitment has distanced me from my own internal monologue and self-reflective tendencies, in favor of focusing on the development of that in the students. I can only imagine the difficulties they face in understanding their nomadic, fortunate lifestyle; my abilities to cope were grossly under-developed at their age, but they are far more mature now than I was then. I’m still developing a piece on why it doesn’t get easier to return home as you grow older...

If I were my own student, I would be prioritizing a systematic look back at the past four years, to get a better sense of where I’m going next. I would tell all the stories that still need to be told; ones about climbing Kilimanjaro, living in Hiroshima, riding scooters in Hyderabad, and connecting with inspiring leaders, to name a few.

Writing postcards from Japan

Writing postcards from Japan

And that is what I endeavor to do. In addition to strengthening my creative muscles in Word biweekly, I aim to reignite my written storytelling passions by adequately chronicling my adventures with TGS in the past four years. Utilizing the second draft of my travel writing e-workbook, I hope to squeeze my mind dry of its memories to be absorbed by “paper” and shared with you, my dear community. This might involve the nudging of some blog buddies and will definitely involve the securing of sacred time and space to write and publish.

My sense of balance between consuming and creating is about to recalibrate.

I’m finding myself pulled toward some challenging travels in the future, ones that are rooted in a desire to improve our understandings of "the foreign and the feared.” This is because I have learned how I like and need to learn, and these methods are not the ways I have learned in my own education thus far. They rely heavily on experience and communication with primary sources, both of which require an embrace of a sense of vulnerability.

Just like my seniors, I've got to really see where I've been to fully embrace where I'm going next.

Any questions?