“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” -Terry Pratchett
I feel I've touched on this point throughout this blog, but it's emphasis is vital. We hope to have transformed everyone on this trip. Hopefully they learned about Korean culture, picked up some language, and built friendships. Perhaps they learned something about themselves, others, or the world we live in. But all in all, we aspire for the creation of a new perspective. A perception of reality in a larger context, that exceeds the familiarity of Lansing, MI and extends beyond. We want curiosity, we want wonder, and we want further questions, because the journey isn't over.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson beautifully stated:
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not."
We will be departing South Korea at 4PM on July 14th. After crossing the Pacific, landing safely in Detroit, and reconnecting with our old familiar bed, we'll find ourselves still searching. Hopefully there were lessons on the trip that will assist us with that urge for intrinsic and extrinsic discovery.
But based upon our farewell dinner, and the many friendships that were formed, I am confident in each and every individual with the path ahead.
I know that I've learned a lot about myself as a friend, a colleague, a student, a teacher, a traveler, a son, and overall as an individual. I've made mistakes and I've fostered growth in both myself and the people around me. I couldn't be happier to have had this experience and be able to share it with such incredible and inspiring people.
And speaking of inspiring people...
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” -Pico Iyer