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Coming Back and Moving Forward

June 28, 2012

There are many travel blogs out there. With a specific focus on the adventure of a lifetime, they are filled with exciting news, photographs, love for home, new friends made, and lessons learned. These document the adventures of a fleeting moment in your life as you experience another country and culture. These blogs have an ending. There is an idea that once you have stepped beyond your own borders and crossed country lines, your questions will be answered and you can come home and write the final chapter. The end.

This blog contains the writings of two people who went abroad and came back with more questions than answers. We met in 2008 and quickly became close friends until we both graduated from Western Washington University in 2012. We are very different people, but one thing we have in common is the realization that the world extends beyond ourselves, our circle of friends, or even our country. As recent graduates, we have found that while our classroom days have come to an end, our life and our chance to educate ourselves is only beginning. We wanted something more sustainable than a one-time trip. Thus, these blog posts are the epilogues to our travel and education experiences.

Quinn and Maddy at graduation.

We have both had unique abroad opportunities, and discovered that with that chance comes a broadened perspective and a new respect for humanity in all its forms. Understanding other cultures is an amazing way to learn more about yourself, and in an era of increasing globalization, it is becoming more and more important to get to know our international neighbors. What better way to acknowledge this than for a psychology major and history major to collaborate on a blog together 200 miles apart? More aware than ever of this responsibility, we are working on seeing ourselves as global citizens and would like to encourage others to do the same.

We see a global citizen as one who realizes that everybody is connected. Be it through social networking, economics, or the environment, our actions have an impact that transcend our immediate, local community. A global citizen also respects all people regardless of age, gender, race, or religious or political beliefs, because in spite of our many differences, we are all human beings. We do not exist in a vacuum, and try to lead a lifestyle that shows concern and consideration beyond our own borders. We hope to bring awareness to current issues in creating relationships between countries, culture, and people and continue to broaden our own beliefs and mindset.

Going about this can still be tricky, though, and many people resign themselves to their local borders, believing travel is too cost-prohibitive. However, we believe that travel is something anyone can do. Aside from sharing our expanding view of global citizenship, we want to help everyone form their own opinions by offering ideas on how to travel on any budget, and by offering creative alternatives to pre-packaged tourist trips. We will also provide periodic reviews of various programs and websites to help you decide how to make the most of your travel ambitions. We would like to learn alongside you what opportunities are out there.

There is nothing like experiencing new people and places in person. However, there are many factors that can prevent someone from traveling and we also want to encourage being a global citizen at home through education and community engagement. We hope to feature a regular spotlight describing various aspects of a particular culture through our own experiences and with the help of guest writers who have been to places we have not.

We hope you will help us in our mission to learn  by providing your own feedback and opinions, supplementing our stories with personal experiences, and suggesting new books, programs, world events or other topics for us to write about.

Most future blog posts will be written individually. One advantage of having two writers is that even though we share a vision, we still have varying opinions, experiences, interests, and stories to tell. For now, though, let us welcome you to our blog together!

Quinn and Maddy, or Maddy and Quinn. Or Quindy.

This blog is actually our fallback after our plans to start a dance team fell through.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2012 11:34 am

    Hi Maddy and Quinn! I’m really excited about your blog here. (Maddy, thanks for finding me on WordPress.) Would it be OK if I reblog you guys on my blog? I’m falling behind my goal of updating once a week, and want to give my readers (namely, my dad) something important and interesting to read this week.

    • August 1, 2012 11:53 am

      Hey Michelle! I didn’t know you had a blog until I found it through that friend finder. You can definitely reblog us! We just got started so any help is greatly appreciated :). I’ve been reading through your blog and I love it!

      • August 2, 2012 1:14 am

        Thanks Maddy! I’d like to eventually blog about some of the issues that your blog is discussing, and I’m just getting started as well. So this is great!

  2. August 2, 2012 1:26 am

    Reblogged this on Word Matchmaking and commented:
    I’ve been working on my next post (which is going to be about science and aesthetics – namely, the aesthetic judgments that scientists make, and why we should care)… and I happen to have fallen behind my goal of posting weekly. So, in the meantime, I’d like to share an excellent blog I just discovered, by two of my friends from college. Quinn and Maddy have traveled quite a bit, and their blog presents many thoughts on the topic of global community. Here is their first post, which describes the goals of this travel-blog-with-a-purpose. Based on the caliber of the conversations we used to have in the dining hall after class, I’m pretty excited to see what they turn out. So, enjoy, and I promise I’ll be with your shortly with some new material!

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