Sunday, 23 June 2013

Final Reflection

I have now spent two weeks in Sheffield and as cliché as this may sound, traveling to the opposite side of the globe to study a city in transition has also influenced some personal transformations of my own.

I have heard many stories of different people, who have set out on an adventure across the world searching for answers and exploring physical places that become a destination to rediscover themselves, or to pursue a new life and even to relieve their anguish. That somehow, our presence in a certain place may provide a spiritual/mystical enlightenment which answers our questions. Perhaps a place like Paris for example - which has been renowned as a city of love. Although, what many of these people stumble across is a scenario that 'our success, happiness and satisfaction in life is not a destination, but a journey'. This is what I have learnt. Moreover, as we cannot adapt/readjust until we have been confronted, perhaps some people get into the mind set of confronting their issues when they travel and in turn, are internally confronted with their personal challenges that were otherwise neglected, allowing them to readjust. This is an intriguing point to consider when investigating to what extent, travel and time does transform us in comparison to our willingness to pursue answers to our questions. Either way, the tourism industry has made a fortune out of this :p

Nevertheless, I would argue that traveling is invaluable - I have been exposed to foreign situations, cultures, met some interesting people, shared memories, experiences and learnt a considerable amount in such a limited span of time. My experiences both academically and personally in Sheffield have contributed to my learning, to my mentality, broadened my awareness and reaffirmed significant opinions of mine. This has been the value of the adventure in Sheffield, it was the JOURNEY (experiences, meeting people, cultures etc.), not the destination.

In conclusion, the advice I can share to anyone wishing to commence an international study tour from my personal experience is as follows…

Travel optimistically and positively - this has ensured I have gotten the most out of my tour.

Have an open mind and be prepared for anything, try not to have an opinion of a place until you see it for yourself - everyone interprets things differently.

Finally, if traveling isn't for you that’s your choice. But as this may appear bias because it is my personal opinion, I heard that choosing not to travel is like reading the first page of the book over and over again, without developing an awareness of what is in the rest of the book.
- Isaac Sharp (Bachelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning)


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