BY Carolyn Lisboa
Advertising & Public Relations Asst.
As someone who moved halfway across the world to go to school here at Sacred Heart two years ago, international travel has always been my cup of tea.
I am an international student from India, but I grew up someplace completely different. For eighteen years of my life, I lived in Bahrain, a tiny desert island located in the middle of the Arabian Gulf.
I then somehow ended up here in Connecticut to pursue my undergraduate degree in the United States. Explaining my background definitely tends to get slightly complicated but I wouldn’t trade it for anything; it’s made me the person I am today.
Even as a kid, a family summer vacation to a foreign destination made up the best and most fun time of the year. I loved the thrill of being in a new country and culture. I would look forward to these trips like no other.
It’s easy to cling to the familiarity of where you come from, but there’s something indescribable about the feeling of embracing the unknown in a foreign country. It can be nerve-wracking to find yourself in a completely foreign land where no one seems familiar and you don’t speak the language. What’s life without a little adventure though?
With America being such a vast nation in itself, there’s so much to explore within it’s boundaries. The idea of stepping outside the comfort zone of the land you call “home”. Meeting new people, visiting cool places, trying and immerse yourself in a new culture of a different part of the world is incomparable.
Our world is an exciting mixture of people, places and things; a huge whirlpool twirling us into its deep layers of knowledge and wonder. Sometimes, the only way to truly experience everything it has to offer is to travel beyond the constraints of all you’ve ever known (no matter how painfully long the flight can be).
Some people might question traveling outside the country when you barely know enough about the place you come from through domestic travel. It’s incredibly important to take pride in your roots through traveling within your native country but what’s more effective at showcasing your patriotism than by sharing it with the rest of the world through international travel?
Moreover, we place so much emphasis on the Study Abroad program opportunities offered to students here (even though I’m technically already “studying abroad”), it should be no surprise that traveling outside the country is a more superior and worthwhile experience, even outside the context of receiving an education.
If I’d never been exposed to international travel, I would have never got the chance to live out my college years here and Sacred Heart just wouldn’t have become the home away from home that I consider it today. While there’s no denying that I would love to take visiting the fifty states off my bucket-list one by one, the influence of my background has just made me so much more appreciative of being a global traveler.