Around the World in 85 Days

posted Sep 9, 2012, 12:49 PM by jj pionke
The one question that people keep asking me about my trip is "what was your favorite?"  I hate this question.  There is no favorite.  Each place must be taken on its own terms.  There were times when the culture shock was just overwhelming because everything was so different and in some cases, dangerous and yet, even in those situations there were amazing things to be seen/heard/done.  When people ask me what I did with the fun parts of my Summer, I tell them something like this: I ate fantastic food in Singapore, meditated in the wats of Bangkok, shopped at the Patronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, safari'd in Uganda, at sinful chocolate in Belgium, and saw amazing art in Amsterdam.  I did all of those things in one Summer.  I also helped redevelop an information literacy program in Singapore and was on a team cataloging a collection in Uganda.  Professionally, I learned a lot over the Summer and utilized many skills that I learned in the last year, especially in terms of preservation.  The entire trip was amazing.  It was also uncomfortable in many ways.  I would absolutely do it all again.  I would definitely go back to impoverished countries.  I think we, as people, need to push ourselves.  It's not just about seeing where our limits are.  It's about knowing ourselves and the world around us.  It's about seeing all of the things that humanity has made and continues to make.  It's about seeing the good and the bad.  Don't get me wrong, I love the US but it's not all that I ever want to know.  I firmly believe that being overseas makes me a more well-rounded person.

In Battlestar Galactica, Admiral Adama asks President Roslin if she would have built a cabin in the woods when the fleet took a detour for awhile.  It's this great moment because Adama is very indecisive and he is filled with regret.  He wants to know if they would have had a chance as a couple.  Roslin's response is, "I absolutely would have built the cabin."  She goes on to tell him that they should discuss their time on New Caprica and move forward, indicating that just because she is President and he is Admiral, doesn't mean that they can't have a relationship.  I've been thinking about my trip and every time I do so, I remember what Roslin said and so, my response is the same, I absolutely would go again.