It has been an amazing experience to follow along with Melissa Kapeckas’s experiences while she was away in China. While her half of the administrator exchange is over, we are still looking forward to Vice Principal Pei’s visit in the fall. We’d love to hear what you learned through reading this blog. Write in with your reflections, and be a part of Innovation Academy’s global education journey.
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started,
And know the place for the first time.”
-T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets
In many ways, one of the best things about a longer travel experience in which you really immerse in another culture is coming home. I’m not referring to coming home and experiencing all that you missed- your family, being greeted by your dogs licking your face, sleeping in your own bed, and eating familiar foods. Those things are certainly appreciated, but not what I am referring to. What I mean is seeing your home through new eyes as if you are new to the place and appreciating it for its value.
I came home to spring in all of its glory. Trees are bursting with that lime green color of new leaves that haven’t quite found their photosynthetic way. Splashes of colors are everywhere- golden forsythia bushes, tulips and daffodils abound, and purple, pink, and white flowering trees are spreading their pollen everywhere. It’s simply stunning; I cannot get enough of it. Would I have appreciated its beauty if I were here all along to see spring unfold? I am not certain.
The traffic in China was an unforgettable experience. 1.3 billion people in a developing country, in which cars are relatively new to the road, means an intersection of pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds, and cars inventing their own rules of the road. I’ve never appreciated the order of the roadways in the US. The traffic laws do indeed keep us safe and for the most part people follow them. The lack of honking has made my heart happy this week.
Those are just a few simple examples; in reality, travel can help you realize how sometimes you we can take things for granted and how beautiful your family, home, school, and country really is and how grateful you are to have this one precious life and the opportunity to come back to it refreshed with new set of eyes.