Katelyn’s Korner: Eating Cake and Popping Bubbles
It’s hard to imagine what life would be like If we all had to stay in one place. What If “travel” and “explore” and “roam” were empty words, and our experience of life was constrained within our own little bubbles of a world?
In some ways, I do live in my own little bubble of a world. I often get absorbed in my own thoughts, my own small reality. I have become so accustomed to only the places and faces within my immediate reach. But the thing is, I don’t have to stay in my bubble, and I don’t want to.
If I had to depend on books and pictures alone to teach me about the world, I would without a doubt be restless. But maybe I’d be restless or rather; maybe I am restless because I’ve had a taste of what’s out there.
Lets look at the world for a second in terms of chocolate cake, just because I love chocolate cake-and that’s reason enough. What if you ate a crumb of that layer of that sliver of chocolate cake? Now imagine that crumb was the most delicious crumb you have tasted in your entire life. Of course you will want more of that cake, but what good would it do to merely look at images of dessert or memorize the recipe book of that cake. No-you will want to experience that cake yourself. Just knowing that the chocolate delicacy exists results in a craving that can only be alleviated by eating as much of the delicacy as you can.
Okay, so maybe my analogy was a bit of a stretch, but I think you get the idea. The point is, this is how I feel about traveling; this is how I feel about experiential learning. I believe that the world is truly the biggest and best classroom there is. Going out and experiencing life is where the magic in the mind happens. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that textbooks and educational institutions should be dismissed and kids should be set free to play outside all day (Sorry kids).
On the contrary, I believe that with a traditional education, going out and exploring the world is something that will undeniably enhance understanding.
For me, traveling and learning have always been interconnected. At the age of four I took my first trip to Ireland with my family. I saw where my grandparents were born and I talked to cousins I never knew I had. Every time I have returned since, I’ve experienced this country and my family history further, in ways I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Through my travels I have not only been able to deepen my understanding of my personal life, but also of my academics. Reading a Spanish short story about a murder mystery in Barcelona is one thing, but standing on the streets where the fictional mayhem went down is an altogether surreal feeling. Seeing with your own eyes a piece of art you’ve only read about in books, or talking with native people about problems you’ve just heard of in some documentary, expands your mind in ways you never knew it could. These moments, experiences are the bubble-poppers of life.
My problem now, is that I don’t ever want to stop popping bubbles. I have grown restless for more experiences more interactions, more “aha” moments and more mental connections. I have acquired a craving for the world around me and I can’t wait for that moment when my bubble will pop once again and I can see, no, experience whatever it is that’s out there.
Katelyn Merrigan, a junior, studies English. She is the Campus Life Editor of Le Provocateur.