My trip to charlotte a month ago, was one of the most satisfying, spontaneous one. After my finals were over, I just wanted to stay one extra day in Greensboro before leaving home for the summer. I lied to my mom telling her that I had another final left. So that day after my last final, I walked around downtown by myself just enjoying the nice evening. I ran into a friend after a long time and we had dinner together at a nice restaurant. He invited me over to his house in Charlotte. With much hesitant, I said yes afraid how his family will perceive me. It was a two-hour drive to Charlotte. We talked about a lot of things during that two-hour drive. While I was staying at his place for the night, his family treated me like someone from their own home. They were so kind and generous to give me a room and make me feel comfortable. Even though his parents spoke a different language, they were still trying to have a conversation with me. 🙂 They told me how they immigrated from Vietnam back in the day and worked so hard to build a good life over here.
The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open.
This can’t be phrased any other way. It’s when we open up listening to other people’s stories from different walks of life, we gain perspective. During this past year, I found myself engaging in meaningful conversation with friends, going to intercultural events hosted by the campus, spending time with nature and writing more reflections. If I don’t have the time to sit down somewhere peacefully and write on my blog, I try to note it down on my phone. It’s been a year since I started blogging and it really helps me to express my thoughts and emotion out there. It feels good reading other blogs and interacting with an audience around the world. Recently, a blog caught my attention where it was talking about expanding your horizons. Reading that post reminded me why it’s important to open our eyes to the world. I can’t explain how much I want to be on the other side of the globe right now immersed in another culture. I hope one day I’ll able to take a break and go backpacking around the world. Even though I am not financially stable right now to be a full-time traveler, I make road trips and take up small adventures then and now like white water rafting, parasailing, scuba diving and so on.
I know people say that traveling is important to experience life. But I still get that sense of joy of experiencing different things around me. For a long time, I been so crazy about trying new cuisines –Mediterranean, Korean, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Thailand, Mexican 🙂 I often go with a friend or two and it’s really fun talking and bonding over the meal. If I can’t find a friend to dine with, I am not anxious anymore to eat in a restaurant alone. Lately, I started watching foreign films. As much as it feels overwhelming trying to read the subtitles and focus on the screen at the same time, it feels thrilling to learn a new language. Other days I love watching animal documentaries. I am not sure if it has to do with the cinematography or its close details, I get adrenaline each time I watch them. My point is that by doing these small ventures, I am able to get out of my comfort zone and expand my knowledge.
Recently I started a part-time job for the summer. Back in high school, I stayed in a job I despised so much to various reasons. After I quit that, I didn’t apply for any other job for a long time worried that I won’t be satisfied with the new one. Over the years, I learned it’s impossible to find a job you actually enjoy. I am excited about this job though, the people are very friendly and easy to work with. I am hoping to save up some money for my backpacking adventures. I know that is not going to be anytime soon, but it feels good to work towards a dream like that.