Friday, July 5, 2013

An extra suitcase packed -part deux!

Travel, travel, how I love to travel.

For months and months I have complained that I don't travel (especially for work) as often as I used to. Man, do I miss recruiting season---show me a former college admission professional that often doesn't feel the same way---! I may be in the minority, however strongly, I refuse to believe that.

We are not a common breed, although there are lots of us out there. We are like birds, born to fly, or in other words, explorers, lovers of people and places, and cultures and the WORLD beyond our own backyard. It is so hard to explain to the likes of those who have not experienced it, and by all means, do I not want to cast judgement, nor I invite it upon me. But those of us who experience certain life-altering rites of passage, like riding on 10 hours bus rides across the Swiss Alps, signing up for bus dates to Hays, Kansas---flies and cows, Cast C96? ;)--- or intentionally and sanely (that's questionable, though) saying yes to live out of a suitcase for about a year, we are different. Yes, here I am again, regressing back to my life after college experience of a lifetime, becoming a member of the Up With People community!

Folks, sorry, it's like a cult. LOL! It's the kind of cult that embraces the sorts that speak different languages, dance different steps, love without words, befriend other in every possible way that enables each member to be him/herself and that is OK. This program is about the world, ONE world that we all belong to; a beautifully complex tapestry of colors, races, accents and two-steps! ;) By celebrating our differences, we become stronger. By embracing our common human hunger for peace through conversation, especially, through music, we are one! Yeah, this is my kind of cult. LOL Sign me up!

Blessed with career opportunities that have allowed me to always keep a somewhat packed suitcase ready, just in case, I am preparing for the next adventure in visa land. Back in 1997, I remember saying "I never thought I would ever say I am going to Poland." I went to Poland. It changed my life. I now recall saying "China? Why would I want to go to China?" I am going to China!

While it is certainly premature to blog about "what is to come" I anticipate the entry that will be after August 12. For now, I long for, in thanksgiving, the opportunity to represent the university in a culture somewhat foreign to me, but not to my colleagues, and be a vehicle for cross-cultural conversations, relationship building and future partnerships in projects, as well as in mission. My newly- discovered interest in the Far East has only just begun. Stay tuned.

Yes, this entry is quite specific, but it will apply and hopefully, resonate with all you birds out there, who thrive on booking flights and soaring high. The world is indeed a wonderful, colorful, complicated quilt and each square represents a quality, language and tradition from each section of the globe. The quilt exists for the sole purpose of keeping us warm. You and me, under the quilt warming up, thanks to its hugs, laughter, multiple ways of saying Danke or Skoll! We all may not need a quilt like this, but boy, try it. If you haven't, get yourself a quilt like this, patched together by hands that milked cows in the USA, made poutine in Montreal, skied in Switzerland or drank from the local brew in Bavaria. I promise, you will yearn for one when the winter blues hit home.

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