When I left the country and traveled overseas, I expected things to be different. I eagerly awaited new experiences and anticipated encounters with foreign peoples and cultures. I expected and even banked on broadening my mind and opening my heart to new ideas and ways of knowing. But I didn’t expect to learn so much about myself and my home. I knew the experience would change me, I just didn’t understand how.
When you step into a new and different place there is an opportunity to look back and examine the world you just left—the one that molded and shaped you into who you are today. Except now upon leaving the country I once thought was home, it too now also seems foreign. I’m forced to adopt the identity of an alien while also accepting responsibility for the crimes committed by my nation and culture. This discord created further distance between myself and my home—a dissonance that may never resolve, not even after ending my journey and returning. (more…)