People say traveling broadens your horizons. Traveling helps you become more versatile with changes,and understand your purpose in life.
I’ve been on the go for the past five years. I’ve studied in Japan, worked in South Korea, lived in New York, studied in Italy, and now heading to the Philippines! WHEW! By this rate, I’ve honestly forgotten how many times I flew, packed and unpacked my bags…
From an outsider’s perspective, my journey may be quite adventurous, splendid, and perhaps bizarre. People often question me, “How do you do it, aren’t you tired by now, Ai?” From an insider’s point of view, my journey has been nothing but remarkably bittersweet.
Traveling transformed me in many ways. For the better, I’ve become more open-minded. As a little curious explorer, I constantly yearn to learn a new culture and language. I found myself accepting new challenges and thus decided to study in Europe for a semester. I tried to go a tad bit beyond my comfort zone to speak a different language, traveled to places I normally wouldn’t see myself going; most importantly, I fostered meaningful relationships with people who are different from me. Absurdly, I could now even imagine myself living in a country no one has ever heard of.
Traveling significantly helped me discover my purpose in life. Traveling educated me on the big social issues including the existence of prejudice and racism in our society today. Traveling encouraged me to never be complacent with where I am, but always strive to do MORE- to continuously learn and serve wherever I may be. Traveling led me to cross paths with people who ultimately helped me to be better.
With its sweetness, traveling becomes unpleasant when I have to continuously bid farewell to the relationships I’ve nurtured and developed over time. Traveling is difficult when I realised how much I’ve changed as a person, and at times uncertain with my next destination point. I feel at loss with words whenever people ask, “Ai, where is HOME for you?”
With my remaining 2016 in Budapest, I reflected on my five year journey abroad. I’ve surely been on the go, and I prominently traveled with the purpose to learn, serve and grow. With a grateful heart, I thank God for for all the rich experiences and encounters I’ve accumulated over time. Indeed, I’ve discovered the hidden treasures along the way. Until then, my 2017 mission is to find a place where I’ll be able to establish my roots, and ready to share the treasures with a place I’ll soon call… HOME.