Friday, February 1, 2008

Cocoa Swap Topic #4

What is your most memorable vacation? Where did you go? What made it memorable?

My most memorable vacation was probably the semester I spent abroad in Australia. I was drinking at pubs every night going to school, but I managed to have many memorable trips out of Brisbane. I learned to scuba dive, held a koala, scratched a wallaby's chin (just like a kitty cat), rescued a baby kangaroo from roadkill in the middle of the outback, explored Uluru in Austraila's Red Centre, visited Opal mines, swam in a lake of tea, and of course, tried my hand at surfing on their squeaky sand beaches. I attended the University of Queensland in subtropical Brisbane, and got to take weekend scuba diving trips, hiking trips that ended with BBQs on the beach, and attended my Aussie roommates' rugby games and after game parties at pubs. I took a ferry across the river every day to school and on the walk home, I would pick up fragrant fallen frangipani flowers (called plumeria in America) and stick them in bowls of water in my room so that there was always a fragrance of flowers. I made the best friends I've ever had in those short months, friends that knew/know me better than many friends I've had for years. I had community dinner with the daughter os a Costa Rican coffee farmer, a sorority girl from Virginia, and anarchist from San Francisco, and a girl from my college who turned out to be a friend of the man I married.
I changed my worldview, learned how a different culture reacts to the world and to Americans, and learned how to assimilate to a different culture. I learned to see Americans as another culture sees them, and learned how to not be "another American tourist." I had my values challenged: some important ones reaffirmed, others rejected.
I feel strongly about the importance of making studying abroad an affordable and emphasized option in college study. As a prevet/animal science major, it was not an easy option, but it changed my life. As one of the world's superpowers, America's culture affects people all over the world, both negatively and positively. I feel that the more educated we become about how we affect the world, the more the youth of today will be able to make educated decisions in the future of how to treat the world.

*This philosophizing brought to you as a byproduct of the recent watching of too many political debates.

1 comment:

trashalou said...

I'm glad you liked my country. What year did you do vet in Brisbane?