Absorption: The challenge of continuous travel

The last week has been hectic, to say the least. In under 100 hours (starting last Wednesday) I had hugged my mom and sister goodbye in Virginia; learned 1000+ years’ worth of Dublin’s history on a walking tour; flown to Zurich, Switzerland and met up with friends; taken the train to Riva San Vitale, Switzerland; unpacked into my new apartment; and spent a day in Milan, Italy.

Over 4000 miles and 740 pictures later, it is no surprise that I have had a hard time knowing exactly what my first blog post should be about. I have always had a problem with writer’s block, and experiencing what might be the busiest and most varied week of my life hasn’t made things any easier.

Since settling into Riva San Vitale, I have been challenged to analyze cultures by fusing background knowledge of them with personal experiences and perceptions. I found myself having a hard time doing this after my visit to Milan, and at first I assumed my difficulties were a result of taking almost exclusively technical classes for the past two years and not having any thought-provoking English classes for the past four. While this may be part of the issue, I am also realizing that the more condensed travel is, the easier it is to merely take pictures of buildings/landscapes and the harder it becomes to engage with my surroundings in a deep, thought-provoking manner.

From here on out trips will be fewer and farther between, and while traveling might appeal to my adventure-seeking spirit more than sitting in a classroom, I know that having time to process my experiences will help maximize what I learn from them.

I’ve already learned (or been reminded of) a great deal about Milan and Europe, but what has hit me most so far is the importance of taking the time to process my experiences.

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  1. Leave So That You May Return | Musings and Meanderings

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