Travel makes you modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world
Broken toes and morning pillow puppet shows, this is sadly become the norm of the first sight I see when I wake up, at least as of recent. It’s a surprise I don’t wake up vomiting from the nonsense that is spewing forth from across the room in the bottom bunk that is my English roommate. The morning is already sweltering even as both ceiling fans are rotating at full speed. Climbing out of bed I am already dreading the walk of shame towards the kitchen for a cup of what is supposed to be coffee yet resembles toxic sludge from Commerce City more than a potable morning pick-me-up. Even in spite of the sorely missed comforts of home, I continue to feel fortunate in the life that I am now living. The lessons learned, I know, will forever be with me wherever I may end up in life and know that I have gained strength in the modesty of living with minimal luxuries and my compassion for those that live with less yet seem to have more has been an education that can only come through experiencing these situations first hand. I still think back to my first travels outside of the United States. I was 15 and traveled to Jamaica for two weeks. Here I saw both beautiful beaches and a new culture, but at the same time I was also exposed to less fortunate living conditions. I feel as though now, 15 years later, I am able to appreciate more of the experiences I have and how they continue to currently affect me by realizing how much bigger the world is and how much influence the States carry. I am reminded of Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave. I think that for many people they are afraid of what is outside of the cave–fearful of change, but grasp to the safety of their life soon forgetting that there is more to this life and accept the complacency of what is presented in front of them. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. So be challenged to confront the fears and doubts you may have in order to be set free and live with more passion and angst than even you might imagine.