"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page” -Saint Augustine of Hippo.
When you step out of the plane, what do you expect? Before travelling across the world to a different hemisphere and different culture, everything shaping your expectations comes from what you already know and what you can read.
As I imagine what to expect stepping off the plane in the Philippines, my mind is filled with images of headlines covering the Filipino political changes and images of breathtaking beaches. Yet, I know the Philippines is more than political headlines and images of favorite tourist beaches.
When we step off the plane in Cebu, the Philippines will inevitably greet us to peer beyond the politics to the Filipino people to their traditions, stories, and values. Every experience traveling beyond one’s own boundaries presents an invaluable opportunity to gain an understanding and appreciation for everything different than what you know. By going beyond our own boundaries, we gain an understanding for a way of life different from our own. With each excursion beyond your boundaries, you hold a piece of understanding for each way of life and culture. When you return home to the way of life you know, these pieces guide you. These pieces guide you in peering beyond the surface differences between people to find commonalities or at least an appreciation and respect for those differences.
The Philippines will undoubtedly give each of us travelling a piece of it. From the moment we step off the plane in Cebu to returning home, the Philippines will immerse us in their way of life. And hopefully, when we return home, a piece of the Filipino way of life stays with us.
- Caitlyn Crenshaw, Philippines '16